TechOlympics 2024

Showcase Project Information

Each year, the TechOlympics Showcase is a central part of our technology competition and event. Schools work on their Showcase projects with their coach during the November to February timeframe, then present their projects as a team in front of our panel of executive judges from all over Cincinnati’s business community.

Create a project in one of these categories to earn points for your school in the 2024 TechOlympics Showcase. Use these as inspiration, but the sky’s the limit for what you can do. You will present this project to a panel of expert judges at Empower 2024 in February.

The winning project of the TechOlympics showcase will have the chance to present their project to all other attendees and at even at an INTERalliance board meeting!

Innovative Programming

  • Create a functional web application that accomplishes a goal and is aesthetically pleasing.
  • Develop a mobile app for any platform that helps users, whether it’s making their day-to-day life easier or helps them connect with others.
  • Code a video game – and you better do something cooler than “Tic-tac-toe!”

Event Theme: Empower

  • Shine a spotlight on either a new technology, or an innovative way to make use of an older one.
  • Present something entirely new; something the judges will never have seen before.
  • Create something to shine a light on and help solve an issue in your community. This can be a micro or macro level issue as long as your solution is substantial.
  • Try your hand at creating a business plan for the next “big thing” related to technology! Design a hypothetical product, app, or service; research what it would take to make it a possibility; and present it.

Digital Design

  • Make a 3D model for your school, a local business, or other organization.
  • Create a marketing campaign or “brand” for a local business or cause, including a logo, posters, etc.
  • Produce a video that tells a story, promotes a product or business, or conveys information. Can be real footage, animated, or both… use your imagination!

STEM Miscellaneous

  • “STEM” stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. As long as your project idea is related to one of these topic areas, we want it at TechOlympics! Crazy experiments and innovations, robotics, algorithms, and inventions are all welcome – and then some.

Project Requirements

The due date to register to present your project at TechOlympics was February 12th, 2024.

Best Practices

Showcase Rubric

Score Real-World Impact & Viability Creativity & Originality Technical Difficulty Presentation
1 Project is shallow. While it may be interesting, it does not address a real-world issue or problem. Not very original at all, an overused idea. Cliche, unimaginative. Project does not leverage technology and addresses a relatively superficial issue or problem that, while possibly entertaining, does not represent a technical challenge of substance. Weak presentation. Poor public speaking skills shown. Not effective in communicating the idea.
2 Project provides a narrow problem that will have some impact if implemented. The cost is prohibitive for limited budgets. Interesting idea. Not as unique as it could have been, but a little creativity is clear. Project somewhat leverages new technology and addresses a relatively challenging issue or problem that represents a mild technical challenge of substance. Presentation is acceptable to communicate the project, but could have been much stronger. People who presented were not as polished as they could have been.
3 Project provides a real solution to a real problem, with the impact limited to a very select group of people. Project doesn't scale particularly well but is effective in its described area of influence. A creative idea. More than a mere copy of other people's ideas. Project involves a moderately difficult or challenging subject matter or issue and makes a good attempt to use technology to address the problem. Good attempt. One or more strong presenters. Some presenters were not strong enough for the role they were given.
4 Project provides a very interesting idea that would have a significant impact on a real world problem if implemented as described. Very creative, innovative, original. Not typical. Project involves a highly difficult or challenging subject matter or issue, and makes an impressive attempt to utilize technology to efficiently and directly solve the problem. Strong presentation. Most or all of the students presented quite well. The presentation sold the project to the audience.
5 Project provides a powerful, innovative solution to a real-world problem that could have a wide impact on many people if implemented widely. Outstanding. Surprisingly innovative. Clearly not a copy of anything that already exists. Project involves very complex subject matter, a complex challenge, or a simple subject matter with a complex twist, and uses technology creatively to address the problems. Very professional. Presentation effectively communicated their project. Students showed terrific and professional stage presence and presented very well.

2023 Showcase Winners

St. Henry District High School

Project Name: BED

Project Category: STEM Miscellaneous (Robotics, Hardware, etc.)

Project Description: Our project is Braille Education Device or B.E.D. for short. We decided to make a device that can make learning braille easier. According to Blind Low Vision NZ, on average it takes 4 months to learn unabbreviated braille, and 2 years to learn abbreviated braille. We decided to make a device that can help aid the education of braille. our device is small and portable so you can use it to learn on the go, at home, or in a classroom. We wanted to design our project to be a device that helps with memorization similar to flash cards but is more portable and accessible to the blind. For our design, we have a 3D-printed case that holds servos a pico, and a speaker/headphone jack to tell the user what word they’re learning.

Funding, Resources, and Technology Comments: We used our showcase winnings from last year of $500 to purchase some raspberry pi picos, breadboards, PWM servos, and some 3d printing supplies.

Indian High School

Project Name: IHTN+ Streaming Media Platform

Project Category: Innovative Programming

Project Description: IHTN+ Media Platform is a project developed by the IH Cyber Club and is the next generation of IHTN (Indian Hill Television Network) that was founded by Mr. Dennis Dupps. The project is built for INTERalliance's 2023 TechOlympics Showcase but will also serve as a student-run media streaming platform for the district. This new platform is designed to deliver streaming video content via Amazon Fire TV, Roku TV, iOS/Android mobile applications, and a responsive web video player. The platform will feature video content produced in the district, including but not limited to the weekly high school news broadcast “Braves Beat”, sports games, Board of Education meetings, awards - graduation ceremonies, and much more! The platform backend is built on a custom headless WordPress and vanilla PHP, fully compliant with the standards set within the WordPress Codex. The backend includes database management in normalized SQL tables, RESTful API Endpoints, and a secure dashboard for content management. The database is fully cloud scalable using HyperDB, an enterprise database class made by Automattic, the same company that makes WordPress. All video content is distributed by the global streaming content delivery network, BunnyCDN. The end user will experience a clean and intuitive interface on their smart TV, mobile phone, or the responsive web video player. These interfaces are built using Java for Amazon Fire TV, Roku TV, React Native for a hybrid iOS/Android mobile app, and PHP – JavaScript – React for the responsive web video player. The entire platform is designed to be fully cloud scalable and could support an unlimited number of school districts, each with their own end-user applications for viewing.

Funding, Resources, and Technology Comments: No funding has been needed due to donated resources. Hosting for the backend, website, and databases are from Fullstackolog. BunnyCDN is used for streaming media content delivery networks (CDN). The backend and website are built with WordPress, custom PHP, and HyperDB database class. End-user video interfaces are built with Java, React Native, PHP, JavaScript, and React.

Elder High School

Project Name: PhysBuzz

Project Category: Innovative Programming

Project Description: The purpose of PhysBuzz is to create a software based 2d physics simulation lab to teach kids and adults alike physics principles. PhysBuzz is going to include a highly-configurable simulation builder which will allow to turn on and off different principles of physics to focus on certain principles at a time. It will contain a large array of objects and pre-made simulations to use in your creations or to learn from. The main feature point of the program is the Simulation builder which will allow for people to create custom 2d physics simulations. The User Interface will have highly interactive menus that will allow dragging and dropping shapes from our pre-made library of assets and physics objects, as well as the opportunity to make your own in a shape builder. The Lab builder will allow for a key-frame oriented simulation building that will allow for events, like a force to push an object, to happen at a certain time, or over a length of time. The Lab builder, as mentioned earlier, will allow for turning off different physics principles when designing a simulation, like turning off the Drag equations, or turning off friction. The simulation engine itself: When running a project in the Lab builder or as a lesson, the physics simulation will be allowed to be stopped whenever, or even re-winded to see the state of physics objects at that time. by clicking on a certain object, greater detail of the forces acting on the object and how it is effecting them will be show, like in the case of a bouncing ball, you will be able to stop a simulation of a ball bouncing up and click on it, and the program will draw a free-body diagram on screen and show the movement vectors of the ball, and other forces that are enabled in the simulation, like a vector of Drag or Gravity, or if a ball is rolling down a ramp, you will be able to see the equation for how to get the speed of the ball on the ramp, see the velocity vector of the ball, and if enabled, the friction vector acting back on the ball from the ramp it is on. As a teacher you will have a special ability to sign up for a custom classroom connection link to be made so you can give it to your students who will be able to join it on their computers so the teacher can send Labs Packs, Lesson Packs, and Homework packs to students. As a student, you can create your own labs, share them with the internet or other students on your class code, or even collaborate with other students for labs. The class code given by a teacher will link your computer to a custom server just for your class to allow getting content sent straight to your program by the servers from the teacher. As an individual you will have access to uploading and downloading user creations from and to the internet. There will also be the option to download curated Lesson Packs from us, the developers, or other approved lesson packs made by users or teachers who wanted to submit the packs to the rest of the world. This program is designed to help individuals, teachers, and students learn the concepts of physics in a more fun and interactive way, offering teachers to create and share lessons and assignments for students to interact with and learn from and Individuals a place to learn physics without just a bunch of text and equations on the screen like other teaching resources out there. The program will be able to connect to servers and you will be able to download and share yours and others' creations. Another feature of having an online connection is to allow custom classroom servers to allow teachers to send students Labs, lessons, and homework activities. The project is meant to lower the cost of entry to the field of physics and to make learning it fun and interactive to help more people learn more in a smaller amount of time and enjoy doing so.

Funding, Resources, and Technology Comments: This project is flexible, in the sense that those who use it can create other forms of output such as lights, sounds, etc. in order to wake up the individual.No Funding Resources and technologies: Love2D, a free, very small framework that makes a wrapper around the widely known rendering engine OpenGL, which makes use of the coding language Lua, it is mostly known as a game engine, but because of its extreme lack of constraints on what you can do, like being strictly code based, its moreso just a framework and you can do lots of things with the engine. The program is largely cross-platform, and can be ported to most mainstream devices with relative ease and lack of change to the code. It comes with several built-in libraries and code bases, and the big one that we will be using for this project is the physics library, which is actually a long-standing and well known 2d physics library called Box2D Other resource that may be made of is and other free asset sites, but we will be using mostly our own. We may also be using other miscellaneous lua libraries to speed up the development process and as to not have to "recreate the wheel" per-se Most external(as in not integrated into the framework already i.e. love.physics) libraries will be made by us, and will only make use of other smaller libraries to make development more efficient

2022 Showcase Winners

Lakota East High School

Project Name: Project Ponics

Project Category: Innovative Programming

Project Description: To mitigate food insecurity in the Greater Cincinnati Area, our team will design an indoor, semi-automated, aquaponic-based system tailored for an urban environment. Our solution will combat food insecurity in a healthy, efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly manner, utilizing fish to supply important nutrients for plant growth. An aquaponics system is ideal for an urban setting, where fertile land is limited, due to its ability to grow vegetables indoors. This system will allow for vertical growth with slidable grow columns, permitting more plants to grow within limited square footage and allowing for easy harvesting.

2021 Showcase Winners

Walnut Hill High School

Project Name: No-Lab Physics

Project Category: Innovative Programming

Project Description: No Lab Physics is a system for creating custom, virtual physics labs for students. With our free and open source Web app, anyone can create and share physics experiments without any programming experience.

Creativity & Originality Comments: No Lab Physics is not the first website to contain virtual physics labs, but the ability to easily create custom labs without code is unique to our app. After extensive research, we have only found one other product that attempts to do this, and it is very expensive software that needs to be installed. The software itself is also extremely dated, originating in 1989. With our modern Web app, on the other hand, users can create labs for free without even making an account. When you’re finished, you can simply press the “Copy Link” button, share the link, and others can start viewing your simulation within second.

Presentation Comments: We have created a presentation that centers around a demonstration of our app, and we have practiced this presentation extensively. We have also received feedback from a physics teacher, a computer science teacher, and other students in our INTERalliance chapter.

Real World Impact Comments: During the coronavirus pandemic, many schools have gone remote, making it difficult to perform in-person physics labs. Our project could allow teachers to create their own virtual simulations and experiments for their students.

Our labs are also accessible for schools that cannot afford materials, as well as for students who are homeschooled or cannot participate in labs because of a disability. Although we think students who have the ability should continue to do in-person labs, our project could be useful to those students as well. Our virtual labs make it faster to perform experiments, as you can quickly make small changes to the setup and see how it affects the results. Our experiments can be reproduced without human error, and it is easier to make precise measurements.

Finally, there are experiments that could be performed with our app that would be difficult or impossible to do in person. For example, our app can be used to simulate planetary orbits and experiment with how different initial velocities and distances affect the orbit.

Technical Difficulty Comments: Since we wanted very precise control over the inner workings of our simulations, we decided not to use an existing physics engine. We have learned a lot from implementing our own physics engine from scratch. There are still features that we need to add, such as collisions between arbitrary polygons, but we believe that our prototype is enough to show the viability of our idea.

St. Ursula Academy

Project Name: Using Technology to Overcome COVID-19 Related Challenges: Making a Fundraising Video for Saint Ursula Academy

Project Category: Digital Design

Project Description: Our school has a fundraiser each year called SUA Palooza. Due to the pandemic, this year’s event had to be moved online. Because of this change the administration wanted a way to show the student community virtually as students will be unable to attend the fundraiser this year. Our showcase project is a video that encompasses our SUA community and what makes it unique and special. This video shows SUA through the viewpoints of many students of all different grades and backgrounds. We scheduled interviews over the course of 2 weeks to collect information about how our school has adjusted to the current pandemic and even though circumstances have changed, SUA’s family atmosphere has stayed the same. We used Adobe Editing software to take snippets of these clips and create an impactful video to present to SUA’s parents at the palooza event this spring.

Creativity & Originality Comments: This project is creative in the fact that our school has never used a student-made video as a main part of this event. Because we have never had a need for virtual gatherings, there are no past examples for us to draw on. We have been working hard to capture various events around our campus using tactics ranging from asking effective interview questions to filming shots of (socially distant) gatherings. Our project is original because it was created by us, students, to portray the positive uniqueness of our collective student body. It is a creative and original adaptation taken to the promotion of the event, since in past years publicity for the event has been entirely in person in the form of fundraising parties, none of which included student help or input.

Presentation Comments: We will present our showcase project through a Google Meet. We will start by discussing the process by which our project was launched, and the steps we went through to create our final product. We will have a powerpoint with images and notes from our meetings and other documentation of our work on the project as a visual aid. After we have finished this explanation, we will show the final video project itself, and open the floor to questions. As for our video to the school community, it will be sent out via email to registered attendees on the night of the virtual fundraiser.

Real World Impact Comments: Our project impacts our entire community by reminding members and financial supporters that even amidst this pandemic, we have persevered and found meaningful ways to continue supporting each other and our education. In our project, we made sure to interview a wide spectrum of students to get as many perspectives as possible. We wanted this video to represent everyone and to reassure parents, alumni, and other patrons that our school is thriving!

Technical Difficulty Comments: Some difficulties we faced were scheduling interviews for students to contribute their thoughts, especially working with hybrid schooling and other Covid restrictions. We also ran into issues finding quiet spaces to film and finding times to film the student body. We had to learn how to use Adobe Editing software which was challenging. Figuring out how to most effectively edit our video asynchronously and finding a balance of our different visions were also difficulties we faced.

Lakota East High School

Project Name: CCHS Alertor

Project Category: STEM Miscellaneous (Robotics, Hardware, etc.)

Project Description: This project was intended to help those with Congenital Central Hypoventilation Syndrome (CHHS), a rare neurological disorder in which individuals cannot breath during their sleep. We plan to connect a pulse oximeter to an Arduino and raspberry pi that is also connected to a bed shaker. When the individuals blood oxygen level is too low, the Arduino will communicate with the raspberry pi and shake the bed.

Creativity & Originality Comments: This project is flexible, in the sense that those who use it can create other forms of output such as lights, sounds, etc. in order to wake up the individual.

Presentation Comments: We will present proof of concept of this project through a PowerPoint and possibly some of the first versions of the code running the Arduino and Raspberry Pi.

Real World Impact Comments: Often times, people with CCHS have people to look after them as adolescence, but once they enter adulthood it can be difficult to always have someone around while they are sleeping. This project can give those with CCHS the freedom of being able to choose where they sleep, free of fear of suffocating in their sleep.

Technical Difficulty Comments: Initially, we wanted to just use a raspberry pi but could not find any pulse oximeters that would properly interface with the GPIO board. Luckily, we found a pulse oximeter that is supposed to be able to communicate with an Arduino, so we will implement both of these in out project.