Storefront Science Apprenticeship

My name is Sarah and Storefront Science was the second internship I had this summer. My apprenticeship host was Dr. Leonisa Ardizzone. The foundation that Leonisa built is truly amazing. Storefront Science is a six week summer camp for children ages 4 through 12. I have worked at StoSci all six weeks. Just like my previous internship at EDC, I had no idea what to expect as I had never formally worked with children before. I have taken care of children, but never in large groups and I have never taught science to such a broad age group before. That was another new challenge I tackled, teaching.

Everyday was a new challenge, not only with science, but dealing with children. It got really difficult and frustrating at times when kids were demanding or simply acting like children. However, more often than not, it was very rewarding. It was rewarding when I was able to clear up a concept for a child or helping them out on a project. The most rewarding part of all this was the hugs, smiles, laughter and love that the atmosphere held in the small basement of the Church. Aside from making sure every child went home with a new science concept, we made sure every child went home satisfied and cared for. I could never forget the experience Storefront Science and Leonisa (and of course MOUSE) provided me with this summer. It definitely was the better part of my summer and ended my summer with a bang. I have left this internship with a lot of experience, great memories and joy    

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My Time at Storefront Science

Growing up, I was part of a lot of summer camps as a kid.  I would always find it boring to simply sit around the summer time, hoping that something interesting would happen.  Sure, I had video games, but even that could not cure my restlessness after a while.  Thus, summer camps seemed perfect, not only did they provide me with many experiences, but with many new friends as well. As a result, the time at those camps helped shape who I am, and I look back upon those days with great nostalgia.

I was also a rather avid lover of science, as it provided me with not only the answers I required for my rather frenzied curiosity, but also a means to seek them out myself.  As a result, I always sought out to learn more about the mystifying subject, and even continue to do so now.  Thus, it can be fair to say that this aspect of me also had a significant impact on the person who is typing up this blog at this moment.

Therefore, last summer when I saw that one of the Apprenticeship opportunities involved working at a summer camp featuring scientific lessons and activities, it was hardly an opportunity I could turn a blind eye on.  Thus, I signed up, and started worked there with full gusto.  I was not disappointed, far from that, I was immensely satisfied with my time there.  Not only where the staff kind and inviting, but so was the material.  Granted, it was elementary, but it was still science, and thus, I was excited to teach it.  I enjoyed sharing my knowledge with other children as invested in the subject as I was, and thus, I had a great time.  Of course, no camp was complete without its problematic elements, but even so, the other staff showed me how to deal with them, and with time, I was able to maintain them as well.  Not only did I have fun, but I felt that I grew as a person.

Obviously, when the opportunity showed up for the second year in a row, I just had to apply again.  Thankfully, I was invited back with open arms, and I was ready to start again.  We had some new staff additions this year, which in combination to the new location, gave the camp a fresh, and yet, intimating feeling.  However, this was quickly overcome by the friendliness and overall familiarity I had with Storefront Science.  Some of the things we taught I was not present for last year, but with the support I got, I was able to spread the material with ease to the children.  On that notes, the roster of the children had shifted as well, but that was hardly an issue, as there were some returns, and everyone was still just as eager to learn. Throughout this summer’s experience, I was able to hone the skills I had learned the year before, and of course, have fun while doing it.  Overall, I am grateful that I was able to work at this camp let again this year, and I hope to next summer as well.  I know these are memories I will be fond in both the near and far future.

EDC Apprenticeship

My name is Sarah and I recently interned for EDC, the Education Development Center. My mentor’s name was Francisco Cervantes. It was such a pleasure to work with Francisco. He really did make me feel welcomed into the work place and made me feel involved with the projects. I had no idea what to expect going into this internship or what it was going to be like. After all, this was my first internship opportunity as a rising sophomore in high school. However, I was ready to take on any challenge that would be given to me. I learned how to code games — not the html coding, but playing and categorizing games. I also searched for games that included basic science concepts such as photosynthesis, electricity and heat energy. I searched and played these games and then coded a few. I also learned how to use excel spreadsheets, a skill I had not acquired yet.

By the end of the two weeks I worked at EDC, I was feeling very confident in all that I learned, whether it was the professional side of things in a work place or whether it was just sitting at my desk working on spreadsheets and coding games. My mentor, Francisco, was definitely an awesome mentor and I also learned that he was creating an app and trying to get it in the markets. It was nice to get to know Francisco and learn from him. Overall, working at EDC was such an incredible experience and I learned so much in the two weeks I was there.

Post Apprenticeship Blogpost

          My name is Abraham Makhdoomi and my apprenticeship was GadgITERATION. From the beginning of the internship I felt like I didn’t know what I was getting into. As if everything I had done during the training days were just to get us ready for something else. And once we finally got to the actual work it was more work than you’d expert.

          We began by doing exercises so the kids can get we acquainted with the people they would be working with in the “camp”. Then we did challenges to see what sort of creative and innovative things they could make with the select tools we provided. Of Course, that led to use teaching them new tricks and providing new tools like the Noise Makers to make more innovative projects. These projects were like the challenges but tested the way each group though of the topics and resulted in many “teste cases”. though they were resolved with some conflict resolution.

          By the end of the apprenticeship I felt that I had learned also about myself and what kind of tech person I want to be. I want to explore the possibilities and create innovative things that will revolutionise the way we think about technology. Thanks to my mentors, Louisa Campbell and Rachel Brown, I can make something innovative out of the things that surround me.

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Post-Apprenticeship Blog

My name is Avishek Paul and I have quite recently finished my apprenticeship and AppNexus. It has certainly been an interesting experience working there and is definitely a unique experience that I can’t really compare to anything else. It was quite strange to work at a large company that still manages to feel like a tight-knit community. Strange but enjoyable.

At the beginning I was definitely nervous. Very nervous in fact. When you first enter the building you get greeted by a doorman, and then have to sign in/use your ID to even get into the place. It had a very formal feel to it at first. But once you actually look around you realize that the vibe is actually quite informal. Despite the fact that people are working with very sensitive information and a lot of money is involved – everyone seems relaxed and casual. It was somewhat difficult getting into it at first. But with time I think I managed to find a flow and fit in better. One point that needs to be made is the sheer size of the place. The company owns two floors of a building, and it is enormous. I have literally gotten lost several times at the beginning. But towards the end, lets just say I didn’t get lost as much.After spending a fair portion of my day at the place for several weeks I have learned quite a bit. I’ve gained experience working with several of the online databases that they use in professional environments and have learned how to conduct myself professionally in a business setting.

One of the major projects that I was involved in was the setting up of accounts, phones, and computers of the new batch of new-hires that started at the company not long after I started my apprenticeship. This involved setting up phones, gathering monitors, imaging Macs and dealing with whatever problems came up. Another one of my major projects was gathering and compiling all of the RT system’s raw support ticket data and converting it into more elegant graphs and charts.

I had several mentors during this Apprenticeship, Cheech, the mentor that was assigned to me, and then there was also Matt and Tyler. Cheech was the person that I went to for general advice, such as my role in CorpIT and what was expected of me. Matt was the person I went to for more technical advice regarding the problems that came up while I was helping others with their problems. Tyler was the person that gave me work essentially, he assigned me tasks and I completed them under his watchful eye and helpful guidance.

All-in-all this was a fun experience and would definitely recommend it to someone else if I was asked.

Post- Apprenticeship Blog

My name is Kelvin Yu and during the summer of 2014 I worked alongside my fellow Mouse Corps. students at gadgeITERATION. There we were able to hone our skills in engineering, circuitry, the iteration process and administrating workshops with others. Most of this would not have been possible without the mentorship of Louisa Campbell, Rachel and the student mentors. During the first few days of the apprenticeship Louisa seemed to know that some of us weren’t so comfortable with speaking publicly or to others, so she made sure that we became comfortable at our own speed instead of forcing us, which led to great partner collaborations on designs and everyone pitching in to help out with the gadgeITERATION camps. There was also Rachel (apologies because I don’t remember her last name), another mentor who was  the highly energetic one who got everyone motivated when we were down or tired out. From these two I learned how to deal with the younger kids, properly lead the workshops and engineering skills that I will carry with me to the future.

When I first started my apprenticeship I was scared and nervous because I was in a new environment with new people (except the guys from Mouse) and I didn’t want to look like an idiot, so I kept my hand down and just listened. But, I soon learned that these guys weren’t so different from me in the aspect of being there to have fun and learn new things, because of that I was able to join in and share my ideas as well. Within a few days, I was already out of my shell and learned to just have fun while still focusing on the task at hand.  For example, on the second or third day of my first week, my partner, Kaylah Mack and I had to build an invention of the future, and what we came up with was the I-Futon. We were really able to open up our imagination and have fun with it, so we came up with things that it could do such as projecting applications all around the bed (even hovering over) so that you could sit up and use multiple applications or even lay down and watched whatever you wanted to. (I forgot to mention it but it also has a touch screen sort of application to it so you could basically use any part of your body to click on the projections.)

During the second and third week we were at Brooklyn College Arts Lab (BCAL) where we hosted gadgeITERATION workshops for middle and high schoolers. Our task was to lead the workshop and mentor/aid the kids in creating their own inventions while incorporating the NoiseMaker 2.0. Throughout each day of the camp we would lead them in group activities such as Icebreakers, teaching them about circuitry and group challenges. I’m not the biggest fan of working with younger kids but with the gadgeITERATION workshops it definitely changed my view on them because they are far smarter than I would have imagined and some of the kids I worked with seemed genuinely interested in learning and working with technology, which goes to show that the future isn’t hopeless after all. By the end of the gadgeITERATION apprenticeship I felt much more confident in my teaching, leading and building skills as well as adapting to new places quickly.

During the beginning of the apprenticeship we worked on creating our own designs based on a certain topic such as futuristic invention or something that you would use in space. The first thing that I worked on was the I-Futon as i stated before and for the invention in space, Abraham and I created a sort of claw that would prevent something like what happened to Sandra Bullock in Gravity from happening. At the gadgeITERATION workshops I was able to work with the kids to create an Iron Man like repulsor, mutant singing moose/bear hybrid, a boxcar sort of thing and a light up refrigerator that plays music when it’s opened.

From this apprenticeship I was able to gain more knowledge on the design process behind an invention, circuitry and just being able to come out of my metaphoric shell quicker and enjoy or make the best of what I was doing. Also, just by working with the kids I learned that they aren’t so different from the rest of us and that they are probably nervous about being in a new environment, so the best thing to do in that situation is to get them enthusiastic about the topic at hand and get the motivated to work with others to create something awesome.

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Gadgiteration

        My name is Kaylah Mack and I was working the program Gadgiteration which was ran by Louisa Campbell. When I first started the program i was a little wary. This was because I was working with a few people I didn’t know also I was a little worried that i would have to be a super smart genius to be in the program. At the end of the program I was thinking to myself i’m going to miss these guys, I also felt a little accomplished because I learned something new.

       During Gadgiteration we made many projects. We used a device called the noisemaker to make a circuit. We also made this things called moodboards which is an inspiration on to what your circuit was going to look like or pretty much any idea you had color, size, etc. We also did like these creative challenges where you got this scenario are some supply and we built what we wanted. We also made stuff animal circuits.So many project I actually can’t remember them all, but they were really fun.

      While at Gadgiteration I learn about team work, Such as how communication is what makes a team work best together and things of that sort. I also learned why it is good to project your voice when talking to others. I really awesome mentors, which were Rachel, Grace, and Martia.( sorry if i left anyone out). I learned from rachel how projecting and talking charge when it is need is not a bad thing. I learned from grace how work is can sometimes be a pain but have fun. I learned from Martia if you think something is hard don’t give just try to approach it from different angles.Some of them may not have told me this directly but watching them over the course of three weeks that is what I learned from them, Everyone at Gadgiteration was so awesome thank you for the experience guys