TechOlympics 2020 – Frequently Asked Questions

I am the only student from my school who wants to attend TechOlympics. Can I come?2017-12-20T17:40:04-05:00

Yes! If you are the only student from your school, or if you are homeschooled, you may still participate in TechOlympics. Select your school from the dropdown if it’s available when you’re signing up. If not, select “Not Listed” and contact [email protected]. We will work with your school’s principal to ensure you are able to attend.

Every year, we have an “INTERalliance High School” for all students who are either homeschooled or representing a school sending 1-5 students. You will sit with them during general assemblies and share a chaperone assigned by TechOlympics management.

If you have friends from other schools attending TechOlympics, you are free to hang out with them throughout much of the conference! You can participate in the same competitions, attend the same breakouts, or relax in the Student Lounge.

Contact us if you have any further questions about your attendance.

Should I bring any money with me?2017-12-20T17:42:50-05:00

It is not required that you bring money any money with you to TechOlympics, but you may want to bring a small amount of cash for a concession stand staffed by the Millennium during certain parts of the event. All meals are included in your registration fee and bagged snacks, water, and soda are available throughout the conference free of charge as well. We do not recommend bringing more than $30 with you to TechOlympics.

Can I bring my personal laptop or other electronic devices?2018-11-12T18:09:37-05:00

You may bring your laptop and cell phone but you may not bring a gaming system or any other electronic device. We provide laptops for use in most competitions and breakout sessions, however, there are some competitions that may ask you to provide your own device. Be sure to note this when signing up for the competitions. If you do bring a laptop or other electronic device, INTERalliance and TechOlympics assume no liability for any devices lost, stolen, or damaged during the conference.

Can my parents come observe the conference?2017-11-21T21:53:44-05:00

No. Parents are not permitted to attend TechOlympics, except when dropping you off or picking you up. We have limited space at the Millennium for the 550+ students and 400+ volunteers and faculty members who attend the conference. We are happy to answer any of your parents’ questions at [email protected].

I have friends coming from another school. Can I sit with them rather than my own school?2018-11-12T18:11:02-05:00

No. You must sit with your school at General Assemblies. However, you will select most of your own conference schedule. You can participate in the same competitions as your friends, attend the same breakouts, or relax in the Student Lounge.

Do I need to bring anything in order to compete in any competitions?2018-11-12T18:12:44-05:00

For the most part, no. We provide most of the equipment necessary to compete in every competition, including laptops for the technical competitions. Any exceptions to that rule will be explicitly stated in the competitions description except for those that require a cell phone.

I need to arrive at the conference late, leave early, or temporarily leave for part of it. Is that allowed?2017-12-20T17:51:49-05:00

You must submit a “Special Request to Leave Form” if you wish to arrive late, leave early, or temporarily leave the conference. This form is available on our Documents page and must be signed by your parents, sent in to [email protected], and approved by TechOlympics management.

When you leave, your parent (or another authorized adult, per the form) must check in with our Information Desk to sign you out with a valid form of ID.

How do I apply for financial aid?2017-12-20T17:53:00-05:00

We are pleased to offer a limited number of $75 need-based scholarships towards the $175-200 TechOlympics registration fee. Please download and complete the Scholarship Request Form on our Documents page and send it in, per the instructions on the form, to [email protected]. We will notify you of the results of your request within 2-3 business days.

How can my school participate in the Showcase Competition?2018-11-12T20:07:44-05:00

Full details about participation in the Showcase Competition are available on the Showcase page. Contact our Chapter Relations team with any questions that you have at [email protected] 

What is a Breakout Session2017-12-20T17:55:17-05:00

Every year, we fill TechOlympics with Breakout Sessions about a wide variety of technology- or professionalism- related topics. These are an amazing way for you to learn about the latest trends in technology from top experts, as well as to cultivate your professional skills. Feel free to ask the speakers for their business cards or contact information after the session – they are a networking opportunity too!

How are roommates assigned? Will I be able to change my assignment?2017-12-20T17:56:28-05:00

We ask the Faculty Member chaperone from your school to send us hotel room assignments once everyone from your school is signed up. If you have any requests, talk to your lead Faculty Member. Please do not contact us directly about hotel room assignments as we will be unable to assist you.

Once you arrive at TechOlympics, you can only change your hotel room assignment by talking to your Faculty Member and asking them to make the request for you. Due to the complexity of placing 515+ students in 140+ hotel rooms, we are not able to accommodate every request. If you have a serious problem with your hotel room assignment when you arrive at TechOlympics, talk to your Faculty Member.

Are there vegetarian options for the meals?2017-12-20T17:57:16-05:00

Yes. Every meal is buffet-style and has a vegetarian option available.

Important note: if you have any other dietary restrictions or allergies, MAKE SURE you and your parents indicate them on the Student Contract in the appropriate box. We need to inform the hotel of these restrictions prior to the event so they can prepare meals for you.

I am a parent. How is the event supervised?2017-12-20T18:00:12-05:00

We take safety very seriously, so we provide extensive supervision for students at TechOlympics throughout the weekend. Each student has a Faculty Member chaperone from his/her school, who has ultimate responsibility for the students. We have a team of over 100 volunteers on-site throughout the weekend who are always available to ensure the students’ safety and enjoyment of the conference. All hotel exits are guarded by volunteers 24/7. Additionally, we work with the City of Cincinnati Police Department for the entire event, including additional supervision overnight and patrols of the hotel room hallways. The Millennium Hotel has two towers and we separate the boys and girls into different towers. Students are prohibited from entering the opposite gender’s tower at any time for any reason.

The hotel has an extensive CCTV system which is monitored 24/7 by hotel security personnel. Recordings are available if necessary. Finally, we notify the Cincinnati Police Department about TechOlympics every year. They increase patrols for the weekend around the area of the Millennium Hotel. The average response time to the Millennium Hotel in case of any incident is 2 minutes.

What is the registration fee for TechOlympics?2018-11-12T20:30:32-05:00

Until January 15th, the student registration fee for TechOlympics is $175. The price will go up at 11:59 pm on January 15th to $200 for Late Registration.

The full cost for a student to attend TechOlympics is roughly $525. Due to support from our generous corporate sponsors, we are able to keep low the cost students pay.

When is the registration deadline?2018-11-12T20:33:12-05:00

The Regular Registration deadline is January 15th. The Late Registration deadline is February 1. If you do not sign up by February 1, you will most likely not be permitted to attend TechOlympics.

Do I need to register in advance for breakout sessions?2018-11-13T21:02:11-05:00

No, attendance at breakout sessions is “first-come, first-served.” The larger Colonnade breakout rooms can hold roughly 65 students, the Duke Energy Center rooms hold roughly 60, and Pavilion rooms hold 24 students for computer lab sessions. You can see which room the breakout is in on the schedule. We recommend you arrive 5-10 minutes prior to the breakout start time to secure a seat.

How many competitions do you recommend I sign up for?2017-12-20T18:03:14-05:00

We suggest that every TechOlympics registrant sign up for at least 1 competition. They are your opportunity to represent your school, put your knowledge/skills to the test, and have a lot of fun. Make sure you save time to attend the breakouts you’re most interested, network with professionals in Career Crossroads, and meet new students in other activities. For this reason, we recommend that you do not sign up for more than 3 competitions. You may not be able to fit them into your schedule anyway!   

Which sessions are mandatory at TechOlympics?2017-12-20T18:03:51-05:00

You must attend all meals, general assemblies and keynotes. You must also attend Career Fast Track, which is Saturday after breakfast and again after lunch. IT&U is a mandatory session offered twice on Sunday morning (10am-11am and 11am-12pm) and you must select one of the sessions. Otherwise, it is completely up to you which competitions and breakouts in which you wish to participate.

What is IT&U? Why did it appear on my schedule?2017-11-21T21:52:20-05:00

During IT&U, you will sit down at a table with 7-9 students and 1 executive mentor who will discuss IT career pathways with you. The conversation is yours to guide – you can ask about their own experience, what classes you should take in high school / college, extracurricular involvement, “what it’s like” to be a real IT professional… anything you want! The executive mentor is there to guide the discussion and answer your questions. It’s your opportunity to consider which IT career might be right for you!

IT&U is a mandatory session. It is offered on Sunday morning from 10am-11am and 11am-12pm. You must select one of the sessions. If you do not sign up for a session, one will be randomly selected for you on the website. Feel free to withdraw from any randomly selected registration to pick the other one… which you may want to do if there’s a competition or breakout you want to attend which conflicts with one of the IT&U sessions.

The system was supposed to email me, but I didn’t receive anything. Where’s the email?2017-11-21T21:52:30-05:00

Emails sometimes take 5-10 minutes to process. If you haven’t received an email after this time, first check your email’s spam folder to ensure our email didn’t get mistakenly sorted out by the filter.

Occasionally, email addresses provided by a school, company, ISP, or obscure email provider will not go through as well. If you encounter this problem, we suggest you use a Gmail account for your TechOlympics emails. However, if you’re experiencing chronic problems, feel free to contact us at [email protected].

What is the TechOlympics inclement weather policy?2017-11-21T21:52:11-05:00

TechOlympics will proceed as planned even if there are school cancellations due to snow or extreme cold. We will permit students to arrive late or leave early in the event of snow or ice creating dangerous driving conditions, though our official start time will remain 3:00 PM on Friday and end time 3:00 PM on Sunday. In the event of a weather emergency like a tornado, we will email all students, parents, school staff, and volunteers with information immediately.

What is the TechOlympics refund policy?2017-11-21T21:50:25-05:00

We will not grant refunds to any “no-show” students who paid in full for TechOlympics. Refunds are not available if you miss TechOlympics due to other school obligations, scheduling mistakes, or personal or family-related events. Once registration is closed, INTERalliance is contractually obligated to pay for hotel rooms, meals, and supplies based on anticipated attendance. You may only petition the TechOlympics Steering Committee for a refund if you must miss TechOlympics due to an unforeseeable family or medical emergency.