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2013.04.22 > For Immediate Release
contact: Amanda Rucker - UNO College of IS&T
phone: 402.554.2070 - email: arucker@unomaha.edu

contact: Charley Reed - University Communications
phone: 402.554.2129 - email: cdreed@unomaha.edu

UNO Celebrates Area High School Students for IT Research
Inaugural IT Innovation Cup on April 23 to Give Cash Prizes for Best Student Project

Omaha - As part of an effort to encourage high school students to think about future technology possibilities and to creatively solve problems in innovative ways, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) College of Information Science and Technology (IS&T) is announcing the finalists for the inaugural IT Innovation Cup.

Presented by First Data, the IT Innovation Cup is a seven-month long competition between Omaha-area high schools that will culminate with the IT Innovation Cup award on Tuesday, April 2,3 at Scott Conference Center, 6450 Pine St. IS&T will honor the six high school team finalists and present the IT Innovation Cup winning team with a $2,000 first place prize, $750 for second place and $250 for third.

The following high school teams are finalists for the 2012-2013 IT Innovation Cup:

Omaha Central High School
Daniel J. Gross Catholic High School
V.J. and Angela Skutt Catholic High School
Creighton Preparatory School
Millard West High School
Westside High School

The IT Innovation Cup aims to engage Nebraska high school students in a competition that focuses on creativity, innovation and technology. Area high schools were to compete with teams of up to 10 students. Finalists were chosen on their ability to solve this year’s problem requirements in the most innovative way, which also best uses information technology.

“The College of Information Science and Technology is dedicated to ensuring that today’s youth have an opportunity to become tomorrow’s information technology leaders,” said Hesham Ali, dean of the College of IS&T. “As we find innovative and creative ways for students to explore their passions in IT, it is important that we nurture these aspiring professionals and show them that no matter their interest, technology can play a part in their future careers."

For the 2012-2013 school year, the challenge area is “Serious Games.” Teams were encouraged to think of important problems or issues that could benefit from serious game development. The winning team will have an important issue or problem that they are trying to resolve; a fun, engaging game that is visually appealing and well-developed; and are able to communicate their ideas in a variety of media including written papers, oral presentations, and YouTube videos.

At the final presentation at the Scott Conference Center on April 23, the public is invited to attend and vote on their favorite game from 3– 5 p.m. A 5:30 p.m. reception will follow the public voting with an awards program to follow at 6:30 p.m. Winners being announced around 7:10 p.m.

The public is encouraged to RSVP at for the reception and awards program at ist.unomaha.edu/itinnovregistration. Media is invited to the event.

The IT Innovation Cup finalists were selected from nine teams over a series of competitive rounds.

The 2012-2013 IT Innovation Cup is sponsored by First Data, Omaha Startups/Omaha Chamber, Vetter Health Services, Client Resources Inc., SkyVu Entertainment, and ICS2 Omaha-Lincoln.

“We are excited to sponsor the inaugural IT Innovation Cup,” said Rod Hames, vice president of information technology at First Data. “By focusing on innovation through collaboration, the College of Information Science and Technology will inspire the next generation of technology leaders. Together, we will be able to help students realize their passions and the infinite possibilities technology holds.”

For questions about the IT Innovation Cup, please contact Amanda Rucker, communications specialist for the College of IS&T, at 402.554.2070. For media requests, contact Charley Reed, UNO media relations coordinator, at 402.554.2129 or cdreed@unomaha.edu.

IS&T The College of Information Science and Technology (CIST) was established at the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1996 and represents the joint efforts of the University of Nebraska, the State of Nebraska, and private industry to address the growing global needs for knowledgeable professionals in Information Technology (IT). For more information visit ist.unomaha.edu.

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The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s metropolitan university. The core values of the institution place students at the center of all that the university does; call for the campus to strive for academic excellence; and promote community engagement that transforms and improves urban, regional, national and global life. UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908.

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