By John Toole
---- — WINDHAM — The future is coming back to Windham.
N.H. Techfest returns to Windham High for the fourth year this fall.
Organizers expect as many as 700 middle and high school students from the region to attend the event that showcases new technology and highlights science, technology and engineering careers.
“This is really their chance to get to talk to people who are doing work they know and respect,” Windham teacher and robotics adviser Scott Kukshtel said.
Michele Hutchings, a mentor with the school’s robotics team, said Techfest attracts students from throughout the region.
“People from Massachusetts come up and people from Maine, too,” she said.
There is no admission for the event, which is Saturday, Oct. 12, from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the school, 64 London Bridge Road, off Route 111.
“Techfest tries to bring in local businesses and technology professionals to give high school and middle school students a chance to have a hands-on experience with technology right now that maybe they will have a career in,” Hutchings said.
Kukshtel said the event this year will give students a look at 3D printing technology.
Boston-based Rethink Robotics will have one of its manufacturing robots at Techfest, he said.
“They will show how it works,” Kukshtel said. “It is very easy to train.”
Students also will put their innovations on display.
“Robotics teams will be showing off their competition robots,” Kukshtel said.
This is Techfest’s fifth year. It started at Pinkerton Academy in Derry, before moving to the new Windham High four years ago.
Hutchings said the school’s central location and modern facilities are why Windham has become the regular host site.
A 5K race to benefit the Windham robotics team will be at 8 a.m. before the doors open for Techfest. The entry fee is $20.
Hutchings said the event is important because the team generally doesn’t get school funding.
“It costs money to get parts for the robots and it costs money to go to competitions,” she said.
For more information on Techfest, visit nhtechfest.org.