About 500 students walked through the doors at an event held by the North Carolina Technology Association (NCTA) Friday at Moog Fest in Asheville. Dubbed [email protected], the two day tech expo event is part showcase, part live demonstration, and part dj groove session.
Taking place at the Renaissance Hotel, one of the event organizers, Blake Butler, worked to bring in area middle and high school students to show off the technical innovations happening in their own state.
“All the middle school students here are in robotics programs, and all the high schoolers are in the STEM education track,” Butler said. “Every high school in Buncombe County actually has a robotics program. It’s fantastic.”
Students and other festival attendees had the opportunity to see some pretty cool demos that were extremely relevant to MoogFest. When I arrived, Rob Blair of Western Carolina University was holding an interactive session called ‘Virtual Essentials: Computer-based Music Composition for Media Post-production.’
At the Moog Music table, there were keyboards and synthesizers set up. Many students gravitated towards the table, put on headphones and immediately got to making music.
It was this type of collaboration that was the goal of [email protected]
“The unique thing about this event is that we are able to showcase the tech companies, but also able to incorporate the educational component. That makes it something really special that we’re proud of,” said Marc Montoro of NCTA. Montoro is the Senior Director of Programs and Communication for NCTA and was a major player in the organization of the event.
In addition to great programming, Synthesis also boasts a healthy representation by Triangle-area startups. American Underground companies Personas, Albright Digital and Photofy were tabling and scheduled to do demonstrations throughout the two day event.
“We see this as an out of the box event that showcases the cool side of technology,” said Montoro.
I’d say they achieved that.