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Innovate Sullivan hits the ground running, schedules IOT and two coding courses

By Dennis Clark

Updates on Innovate Sullivan events, both past and upcoming, were discussed at the Sullivan County Redevelopment Commission meeting last Thursday.
Innovate Sullivan, a spin-off of Launch Terre Haute, “is the beginning of a long-awaited initiative coming to fruition through the forward-thinking vision of local leaders, innovators and government bodies to create an entrepreneur led public — private partnership for true 21st century community innovation in the Sullivan, Indiana region.”
The group recently conducted the first of four crash coding courses, funded through the SCRC, for middle and high school students.
“It went extremely well,” Innovate Sullivan Development Director David Dubree said. “We had two students who said they want to go into coding as a career now after that class. I count that as a success.”
Dubree said a second class has been set for July 28, but, instead of at the Civic Center, it will be at the First United Methodist Church.
“In the short time between being able to confirm with Eleven Fifty (Academy), every Saturday through November got booked at the Civic Center,” Dubree explained of the venue change.
Also discussed was the lower than expected turnout for the first class, which was set for 25 students, but less than half attended — the SCRC committed $32,000 for four classes totaling 100 students, with support from the commissioners and county council.
SCRC board member Nancy Hunt mentioned the council was “concerned about their money.”
“I never heard an official reason why the ones didn’t show up,” Dubree said. “But they are certainly welcome to join the next one. I was told by a certain individual that they will be there.”
Commissioner Ray McCammon asked what steps are being taken to insure the students show up, with Dubree saying he was communicating with the parents and teachers.
“I know one principal I talked to was furious … and he was really upset,” McCammon said.
“As far as I know, those students will be there the 28th,” Dubree replied.
Dubree said one adult will be attending the class, paying his own way, adding a Rose-Hulman student who grew up in Sullivan could be helping as an assistant instructor.
In addition, an advanced coding class “is in the works, it’s just a matter of nailing down the instructor when they can do it,” Dubree said. “They are already committed to do it, we just have to get the date set.”
“It’s not just for those that go through the first course. If there’s somebody who’s already taught themselves a little bit, then they can come into the advanced (course).”
Dubree also plans to start a coding meet-up group as a support system for the participants.
‘Intro to IOT Crash Course’ is Thursday
The next Innovate Sullivan event is an “Intro to IOT (acronym for Internet of Things) Crash Course” from 10 a.m. to noon Thursday at the Civic Center.
“It will be another hands-on demonstration … pretty interesting,” Dubree said.
Bryan Rushton of LHP Engineering will conduct the course “to bring us up to speed on exactly what IOT means, how it affects us right now and in our near future. This insightful and eye-opening experience will expose the 21st century connected world we live in. Embedded electronics, sensors, software and telematics led to the technology trend of connectivity between “things.” Intelligent assets are now continually connected to the environment they operate in and large amounts of data are at a company's fingertips. This allows for real-time improvements to their business.”
In the course, LHP will demo an internet-connected remote control car with various sensors that will allow participants to visualize the various data recorded and see how it can be used in real world situations.
This is a free course, those interested just need an RSVP ticket. For further details, check out “Innovate Sullivan” on Facebook or @InnovateSlvn on Twitter.

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