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President’s Report November 2023

Thanksgiving 2033, Bing Image Creator, Burn-E. 

Another month has gone by, still not too cold yet.  Here’s my update from the world’s only nonprofit focused on improving the lives of Chatham, NC, residents through technology.  Innovate Chatham uses our network of members and friends to help other nonprofits, residents, students, schools, and County government.  We focus on digital inclusion, STEM education, and monthly free public presentations on technical topics of interest.  Here is my report on what we have been doing lately.

Chatham Tech Talk


Jody Savage, about Mites
Jody Savage, about Mites

Jody Savage, told a scary story about her fight with poultry mites on October 12 at 79°West, in Pittsboro.  If you missed it and whant to knw more, read about it here., which includes links to her presentation slides and video.


Our plan for a speaker didn’t work out, so we did not have a Tech Talk.


The plan as of the publication date is to meet at Fair Game Beverage Company on December 14 at 5pm.  For a bit of fun and networking.  We have reserved the new Whiskey Tasting Room.  Fair Game has all sorts of beverages and some of them will be free! More details when we have them.

Digital Inclusion Plan

Grant Opportunities

Innovate Chatham is working on our proposal to install a few free public wireless stations around Chatham.   The NCDIT told us ours was a good plan and to go ahead and apply to the Digital Champion Grant.  Don Kallgren is steaming ahead with the application and looking at various design cases.

Don's Public Wifi options
Don’s Public Wifi options

Innovate Chatham, RHRNP, and Communities in Schools are working together to bring a hotspot to a child who can’t keep up with homework because they have no internet service.  If this experiment works, we may be able to apply it to help other kids.

Digital Inclusion Plan Document

The final reviews of the Digital Inclusion Plan are with CCCC and Chatham County Schools.  The plan is already in use to help us seek various grants including the Digital Champions Grant.  Chatham County is seeking nonprofits who are interested in submitting grant applications.  The rules were released on Nov 10. Applications are due on Jan 9.

STEM Education

We have had several meetings with The Forge Initiative in Cary about how they set up a STEM education Tech Space that allows adults and kids to build using milling machines, 3D printing, robotics kits, and more.  If you would like to help organize something like this in Chatham, please contact me,

STEM Club at the Boys and Girls Club with Erin Denniston continues. 

The Computing Club at Jordan Matthews continues.  They are learning the basics of Python programming by creating projects based on their interest.  None of the students has experience in coding/programming.

Our Congressional District joined at the last minute and we managed to get in one entry in the Congressional App Challenge.

Sherri Homan is looking for Science Fair Judges.  Let me know if you are interested.

Volunteer Opportunities

We are always interested in having additional volunteers.  In most cases, we prioritize opportunities based on volunteer interest.  So, let me know if you would like to help with any of these things, or you can suggest possibilities for us to help:

  • Technical topic presentation – we need topic and presenter suggestions
  • STEM Club – we need volunteers to help in the Fall, maybe next year
  • Instructor’s aides for basic computer classes
  • Tech Career Fairs – we always need a list of people to describe and discuss their tech careers at various high schools.
  • Science Fairs Judges – needed for Fall and Spring to judge science and engineering projects while encouraging kids
  • Help with an ACP event – we would like to hold a few events to help folks complete the Federal discount program for internet access. This requires a couple of hours of free online training.
  • Congressional App Challenge – we would like to help middle and high schoolers build their own simple software app that they can submit for recognition in a contest.  
  • Search engine optimization help, and social media help

Please let me know, and we can chat further about your interests.

You are very welcome to share this newsletter with anyone you like.

Thanks for your membership and participation!

Not a member?  If you like our work at Innovate Chatham, please consider joining us as a paid member, which helps us cover the expenses of running a nonprofit.

Burney Waring
Innovate Chatham President

Innovate Chatham

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