Westminster 'stroll' aims to shine light on local technology

Businesses and organizations will open their doors from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 10 to demonstrate their latest technology on Westminster's Main Street.

Participants in the Westminster Tech Stroll, which is free and open to the public, will include InfoPathways, the Carroll County Public Library, Kohn Creative, Ting Internet, the Carroll County Career and Tech Center, and the Community Media Center.


"It's a great inclusive event that features technology throughout our community," said Kati Townsley, Carroll Technology Council executive director.

As the squishy cow spun slowly on his rotating base, members of the Carroll County business community peered as it was bombarded with ever-changing patterns and a machine nearby spat out a near identical plastic duplicate at the new Ting Makerspace in Westminster at their ribbon cutting Wednesday.

According to the City of Westminster's marketing consultant, Jason Stambaugh, businesses and organizations hosted a Tech Alley at the Flower and Jazz Festival in May and "the tables were mobbed all day with kids." The group saw an opportunity to take the concept to the next level and showcase the technology at work and available in Westminster.


"Westminster is home to the Mid-Atlantic's first communitywide gigabit fiber network. It effectively makes Westminster a tech town," Stambaugh said. "I hope this event really does serve to inspire all, and I hope it helps pique an interest in STEM-related [science, technology, engineering and math] fields."

Stambaugh said the event will feature "everything from catapult cornhole to robots to virtual reality." He said the event will be fun for families because "everything is interactive. People will get to see technology and get to play with it."

Val Giovagnoni, Westminster city manager for Ting Internet, said the stroll is a great way for visitors to "gain exposure to all of the cool technology in Westminster."

"There are organizations and businesses doing some cool things related to technology. It will be a nice way to see what's going on," Giovagnoni said.

Giovagnoni said she will be staffing both her retail and Ting Makerspace during the stroll.

Westminster has signed an agreement with SunTrust Bank to fund the expansion of its fiber optic network to further the city's efforts to provide high-speed Internet to all of its residents.

"People can see our 3-D printer and scanner and other technology-based equipment in use," Giovagnoni said. "I hope they will think about ways that equipment might be helpful in their lives … we want to expose families to what's happening in Westminster's technology world."

Giovagnoni said the Ting Makerspace will be opening soon and the stroll will serve as a preview for the shop.

"It will be a place where community members can gain membership and come in and use the tools," Giovagnoni said.

InfoPathways Vice President Thom Bethune will also participate in the stroll. His company will provide visitors with a behind-the-scenes look at a network operations center and demonstrate how broadband is delivered.

"We want to give them an inside look," Bethune said. "Because we manage a lot of Wi-Fi, we want to show people how it works and how it functions. We're trying to demystify wireless internet."

Bethune encouraged the community to take a stroll downtown and check out what Westminster tech companies and organizations have to offer.

"We're trying to get people to open their minds to the idea that they can do technology in town. There's some really cool things here," Bethune said.


If you go:

What: Westminster Tech Stroll

When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 10

Where: Downtown Westminster

Cost: Free




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