Breakout Sessions

Breakout Session One (10:20am)


Dr. Matt Miller, UNK (Info Systems room 201 – 30 seats)

How to Hack and/or Choose Good Passwords

The websites and apps we use every day require usernames and passwords.  Choosing a good password keeps others from accessing your account. But what makes a good password?  How do hackers crack passwords?  Learn how to choose good passwords and how to crack passwords in this session.


Dr. Tom Field, UNL (Commons – 48 seats)

IT Entrepreneurship


Ben Versaw, CCC (Conference room 200 - 48 seats)

Emerging Technologies

Learn about how information technology is shaping the future. In this session, we will discuss emerging technologies such as self-driving cars, 3D printing, brain computer interfaces, and the use of robots in industry.


Dr. Sherri Harms, UNK (Drafting room 107 - 24 seats)

Basic Mobile App Development

Never coded but want to learn how to build apps? In this breakout session you will learn how to design and create apps for mobile devices. Empower yourself to express your creativity with mobile technology – it's stimulating, fun, and helps you develop new ways of thinking.


Carole Tharnish and Craig Shaw, CCC (Manufacturing room 108 - 24 seats)

WordPress Websites

Learn about creating websites using the platform used by over 75 million websites. Built on solid web development technologies (HTML, CSS, JavaScript and PHP), WordPress provides a solid platform for almost 20% of all websites in production today. You can even set up a free WordPress website in four easy steps!


Kenneth Versaw, Nebraska.Code (Automotive room 114 - 24 seats)

Introduction to Coding

On the outside, a software application appears to be a single unit. In truth, the vast majority of software is made up of many different layers of technologies and types of code.  From the HTML/Javascript/CSS code that makes up the User Experience, to the C# that makes up the middle layer, to the SQL code that is used to access information in the database. In this session, we will break apart a software application into the component pieces and discuss the different styles of coding that go into each one.


Ken is a Software Engineer with over 12 years of experience. He is a speaker on the regional circuit and co-founder of Nebraska.Code, a highly regarded Software Development Conference.

Drew Blessing, GitLab (Classroom 123 - 24 seats)

Awesome Open Source Software Development

Software can be frustrating, especially when you encounter bugs or need a new feature. Learn about open source software and how it can alleviate these issues. See examples of successful projects and realize the many opportunities as a hobby or a career. Finally, learn how you can get involved today with Raspberry Pi, Arduino and fun projects like the TiddlyBot.


Drew is a Service Engineer at GitLab and is a member of their community Core Team. Over the past 5 years he has enjoyed being an active part of many open source projects. He enjoys software development, server administration and automation, and hobbyist projects with Raspberry Pi and Arduino.

Therese Laux, AIM (Construction room 104  - 24 seats)

Light it Up!

You have a light inside you, and we're going to let it shine! If you did not come to this conference to have people talk at you, this session is for you.  Sure, there will be some talking about why STEM is important, but we also have important stuff to do like build solar powered, LED lanterns! Of course, you will take it home, so get in here!


Therese Laux is an Education Change Agent for the AIM Institute. Her passion is in embracing today’s technology tools to facilitate creative learning opportunities for youth. She works with education professionals and business leaders to create strategies to develop tomorrow’s workforce today. In her previous position at Omaha North High Magnet School, Laux both founded and developed the school’s award winning Music and Media Technology Program.  Students in her classroom community earned awards from the National School Boards Association, Fort Omaha Film Conference, Nebraska Educational Technology Association, Apple Digital Media Competition and others. Laux is a frequent presenter on the topics of creativity and 21st Century learning and has presented at conferences across the nation. She has been honored by business and education organizations alike and is an Apple Distinguished Educator, NCWIT Educator of the Year, and Fulbright Award winner.


Breakout Session Two (12:10pm)


Dr. Matt Miller, UNK (Info Systems room 201 – 30 seats)

How to Hack and/or Choose Good Passwords

The websites and apps we use every day require usernames and passwords.  Choosing a good password keeps others from accessing your account. But what makes a good password?  How do hackers crack passwords?  Learn how to choose good passwords and how to crack passwords in this session.


Fred Roeser, CCC  (Lecture room 203 – 18 seats)

Lasers and Optics

Explore laser & laser light basics, laser safety, applications of lasers and optics,

and careers in laser & optics. There will be demonstrations and hands-on with lasers and optics.

Fred Roeser instructor at Central Community College, affiliated with OP-TEC: The National Center for Optics and Photonics Education, OPCN (Optics and Photonics College Network), member of MPEC (Midwest Photonics Education Center).


Ben Versaw, CCC (Conference room 200 – 48 seats)

So you want to be a Game Developer?

This session will answer one of the most common questions asked by students interested in Information Technology, ‘How do I make video games.” Attendees will learn about the variety of professionals that are involved with creating modern video games, how to analyze game design decisions in popular video games, and how to get started creating video games.


Jack Sheard, GIPS (Classroom 123 - 24 seats)

Social Media as a Career



Dr. Sherri Harms, UNK (Drafting room 107 - 24 seats)

Basic Mobile App Development

Never coded but want to learn how to build apps? In this breakout session you will learn how to design and create apps for mobile devices. Empower yourself to express your creativity with mobile technology – it's stimulating, fun, and helps you develop new ways of thinking.



Carole Tharnish and Craig Shaw, CCC (Manufacturing room 108 - 24 seats)

JavaScript Frameworks

Discover the power of JavaScript frameworks. Have you heard about web development tools like Angular.js, Backbone.js, React.js, Ember.js, Bootstrap, jQuery, etc.? They are all based on JavaScript. In this session, we will use JS framework code and the tools at w3schools.com and codepen.io to create a mobile web site and test it on our phone!


Mark Hellman, ESU10 (Automotive room 114 -  24 seats)

Stuff on the Internet - An IOT Primer

What exactly is the Internet Of Things (IOT)? What is a Maker? What’s a Maker Space? Why should you care? You have questions, come and get the answers you seek. This session will start off explaining what the IOT is today and it’s history. Find out what is available today and what is required to take advantage of the emerging IOT movement.


If you are; just curious, an interested user, a maker wannabe, or ‘already doing it’, there will be plenty of info at all levels. The discussion will proceed based on your interest so bring your questions and enthusiasm. There will be plenty of examples, gizmos, and widgets from my bench for you to play with.


The Maker Movement combined with the IOT is one of the most fertile areas for growth to appear in decades. You owe it to yourself to at least explore the possibility that this may be your path to a golden egg.


Mark  has been ‘playing’ with electronics since a very early age completing an analog laser light show as a junior in high school. Starting out as an electrical engineer, he quickly moved into programming and IT as microprocessors and networks became the norm. He has been building hybrid software/hardware/network (embedded) systems ever since. With over 35 years of industry experience, and the uncommon ability to make the complex, simple, Mark is a go-to guy for all things IOT.


Therese Laux, AIM (Construction room 104 - 24 seats)

Light it Up!

You have a light inside you, and we're going to let it shine! If you did not come to this conference to have people talk at you, this session is for you.  Sure, there will be some talking about why STEM is important, but we also have important stuff to do like build solar powered, LED lanterns! Of course, you will take it home, so get in here!


Therese Laux is an Education Change Agent for the AIM Institute. Her passion is in embracing today’s technology tools to facilitate creative learning opportunities for youth. She works with education professionals and business leaders to create strategies to develop tomorrow’s workforce today. In her previous position at Omaha North High Magnet School, Laux both founded and developed the school’s award winning Music and Media Technology Program.  Students in her classroom community earned awards from the National School Boards Association, Fort Omaha Film Conference, Nebraska Educational Technology Association, Apple Digital Media Competition and others. Laux is a frequent presenter on the topics of creativity and 21st Century learning and has presented at conferences across the nation. She has been honored by business and education organizations alike and is an Apple Distinguished Educator, NCWIT Educator of the Year, and Fulbright Award winner.


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