Daniela Asplin, reporter
Technology is at the forefront of today’s society, so knowing how it functions is a game changer. Computers control a huge part of daily life: storing data, calculating equations, and even maintaining a heartbeat in extreme situations. At Elkhorn South High School a few tech enthusiasts enrolled in an internship to learn the science that’s taking over the world.
“I think the computer science field is a really good field to go into now. We’re on the verge of a massive upswing. I predict within the next fifteen years or so, the cars on the road are going to be driving themselves,” Junior Gabe Macken said.
Macken was among the few students who participated in a tech internship over the summer. NewFire Group, a family friend’s business, allowed him an opportunity to sharpen his coding skills through their program. It gave him a sneak peak into the computer programming career path.
“With the things I’ve done [at NewFire Group], I get a little more exposure to actual workplace environment type code writing, instead of just copyist style stuff, so that experience is pretty cool,” Macken said.
Senior Kaitlyn Briscoe was also involved in a summer tech program: the one at the UNO Peter Kiewit institute. While it was a more selective program, Briscoe believes her artistic nature set her apart from other contenders.
“I’m kind of more a creative person, so I was afraid that me being a little more of an art person would detract from that, but I guess that’s what made me more interesting, who knows?” Briscoe said.
The UNO program inspired interns to get creative with technology; it assigned them tasks centered around art rather than code. For creators like Briscoe, this was the perfect opportunity to cultivate a passion for animation.
“I am still more of an artistic-y person, I suppose. I like the storytelling aspects of animation and writing and things like that,” Briscoe said. “But I’ve always had a love for video games, so when I got to make my own video game for the oculus, that was a really cool experience.”
“The coding is given to you in the tutorials, but when you’re making something yourself, and you don’t know the actual coding language all that well, it’s kind of overwhelming,” Briscoe said.
UNO assigned various projects to the interns, one of which was the programming of a robot. This kind of coding only involved a click and drag type method; an easy alternative to more complicated methods of code.
“It kind of looked like a toy. It was pretty neat. We named him Frank. He was about the size of a toddler, so like one, he was that heavy. We programmed him to do some dances and things like that,” Briscoe said.
For the most part, the interns had freedom to do what they wanted with projects. This lenience fostered creativity, giving them a greater sense of responsibility and independence. These internships allowed students to experiment with technology, inspiring them to pursue their individual passions.
“I may even want to make my own [animation] company one day,” Briscoe said. “That would be a really cool thing.”