*Please note that HiTech has moved to the East Columbia Branch while the Savage Branch is temporarily closed for renovations.
What is HiTech?
Projects have included the design and build of weather balloons, robots, quadrotor flight controllers, hovercrafts, an e-book (titled "Chapters of Civility" — available as a PDF and from iTunes and Google Play), and a mobile game, Escape from Detention!, that has been downloaded 6,000 times from 30 countries across the globe. Also on iTunes and Google Play, Escape centers on a student who was mistakenly sent to detention because of a classmate’s antics. The game is available for iPhones, iPads, and Android systems. It was chosen as a top game by Best10Apps.com; check out the latest review.
HCLS instructors teach students ages 11-18 the critical skill sets needed for 21st century careers. Attendance since the popular initiative’s launch in June 2012 has reached nearly 3,500. HiTech’s curriculum comprises four modules: Interact, Improvise, Invent, and Instruct (the Academy), each incorporating progressively greater levels of instruction. The annual HiTech Expo showcases student projects. Upcoming classes include Genetics: Biology and Nanotechnology; Gamification; Advanced Robotics; Wearable Technologies; and Augmented Reality.
Leveraging the best technology, teaching tools, and experts to deliver a top-quality STEM education experience, HiTech incorporates an innovative methodology that blends instruction with experiential learning and peer to peer communications. A launching point for the STEM career pipeline, HiTech produces the next generation of brilliant scientists, mathematicians, and engineers needed in the community and nationwide.
The initiative capitalizes on Howard County’s advantage as home to a number of major STEM-oriented employers and higher education institutions, with many providing leadership and guidance as members of the HiTech Board of Advisors, including Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, Mindgrub Technologies, Northrop Grumman, University of Maryland's A. James Clark School of Engineering, Maryland State Department of Education, Howard County Public School System, Howard Community College, and University of Maryland Baltimore County's Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology.
The Urban Libraries Council (ULC), a membership association of leading public library systems in the U.S. and Canada, named Howard County Library System (HCLS) a “2013 Top Innovator” for HiTech. In announcing the award, ULC President and CEO Susan Benton said, “On behalf of the ULC community throughout North America, I congratulate Howard County Library System for being selected as a 2013 Top Innovator. HCLS staff are commended for setting the pace for growth, change and innovation in the field.”
The upbeat term plays on the words high and technology, conveying that we incorporate cutting-edge teaching methodologies into our curriculum.
HiTech also associates the initiative with Howard County Library System (HCLS) because the term begins with Hi, HCLS’ logo, which communicates friendliness (as in “Hello, and welcome!”). Separately, the logo’s letter “H” stands for Howard County Library System, while “i” stands for specific words (e.g., inform, instruct and interact), which, combined, comprise our mission: high-quality education for all.
The HiTech logo, which mirrors components of the HCLS logo, also includes the tag line “The Road to a STEM Career.”
Curriculum: Four Modules
A+ Partners in Education and HCLS Certifications
Press and Funding