The Salmon Arm Economic Development Society hosted their third annual Technology Meet Up at the Salmon Arm Secondary School’s Sullivan Campus on Feb. 20. The event is a chance for students who are considering a career in the technology industries to explore the many options available to them in the Okanagan region.
Lana Fitt, economic development manager for Salmon Arm, says the Technology Meet Up is a chance to “engage students who want to consider technology as a career path and create awareness of the diverse cluster of technology companies in the area.”
Between 600-800 students from across the district were expected to attend the event, which featured booths from local businesses, innovators and educators from Thompson Rivers University and Okanagan College’s trades and technology programs.
Students and community members could check out displays focusing on creative and cutting-edge technologies such as digital design, robotics, 3-D printing, digital photography and videography, as well as more practical devices. For example, Tim Mosher of Raptor Integration Inc. was on hand to display an x-ray laser scanner which checks lumber for quality and integrity, an example of how modern technology is being integrated into what might have once been considered low-tech trades.
The event was also a chance to showcase information regarding the Salmon Arm Economic Development Society’s upcoming Makerspace project. When completed, the downtown facility will offer access to cutting edge technology such as 3-D printers, robotics software, digital animation tools and other high-tech goodies. There will also be workshops planned every few weeks to give education on the use of these technologies.
While Fitt notes this new space for innovation in Salmon Arm will be mostly geared towards students, she says membership and access to the full range of resources offered at the Makerspace will be available to anyone “from the hobbyist to the inventor.”