Stories » The Future is Now: EMCSD Students and Teachers present Innovative Tools at Tech Fair

The Future is Now: EMCSD Students and Teachers present Innovative Tools at Tech Fair

“Together We Rise” was the theme for the El Monte City School District’s (EMCSD) Third Annual Technology Fair, a public event led by students where they showcased innovative technology used in their classrooms. 
Every year, Technology Lead Teachers from throughout EMCSD volunteer to spearhead the planning and execution of the fair. Their focus is to show different ways technology can be used to engage students in their learning. Schools lead activity booths that focus on various tools including artificial intelligence, eye-gaze and tracking software for medically fragile students, engineering, 3-D printing, and much more. “The booths are always interesting,” said Jessica Pardini, EMCSD’s Educational Technology Coordinator. “The best part of the fair is how much parents love it. My favorite thing about the whole experience is seeing parents walk out with their arms around their students saying ‘look at what you’re doing, I am so proud of you.’”
All elements of the fair were created by students and teachers including the food and awards. Students are at the forefront of the tech fair, tasked with guiding visitors through each activity. The Mandarin Dual Language Program from New Lexington School made its debut this year. Dual Language students showcased how technology is used to create an immersive bilingual experience by walking guests through interactive writing tools. Teachers Christine Lin and Sophia Wang were amazed at how easily their students communicated different aspects of their program to parents. “It means a lot to us and our community that the District hosts this type of event, you could see how proud parents are of their kids,” said Ms. Wang. 
Engineering was another popular exhibit at this year’s fair. Columbia and Shirpser schools’ Lego Robotics Clubs showcased their self-programmed machines, explaining their mechanical processes. “The goal of our Lego Club is to teach kids about robotics and how moving gears and motors work,” said Shirpser student, Carlos. Each robot and race car on display was built and coded by students throughout EMCSD. 
Parents and students were not the only ones learning at EMCSD’s Tech Fair. The event gives teachers an opportunity to earn from each other. “This event is really eye-opening,” said Ms. Lin. “It’s a great chance for teachers to see what’s new and gives us ideas for what we can do in our own classrooms. I would suggest that all teachers attend and bring their students.” 
The three-hour event was capped off with a Wearable Arts Competition. Eleven EMCSD students were given 90 minutes and mystery materials to create any wearable. Designs included hats, purses, dresses, and shirts. Students walked the event floor wearing their designs and were judged on creativity, application, and appearance. “There are no limits to our student’s creativity, they completely exceed all expectations! This is something we should all be proud of,” said Dr. Maribel Garcia, EMCSD Superintendent. When asked about the importance of the Tech Fair, she pointed to collaboration. “This event is designed to show our entire community how technology in our schools goes beyond just new laptops or the latest A.I. software. It is about learning from one another to enhance our educational programming for students, staff, and families. I want to thank all of those who participated in this year’s event, especially our volunteers who plan year-round to give our community an in-depth look into our engaging programs.”