High School

Senior Internships

Weekly Updates

List of 15 items.

  • Daniel - May 14

    Ever since April third I have finished my internship and thoroughly enjoyed every day of it. Since then I have continued to do volunteer work for the school that is not a part of my internship as I await for graduation.
    I had started my internship figuring out how to work the 3D printers at the lower school and figure out how they worked throughout the internship. This helped greatly later on when I decided to volunteer myself to put together six 3D printers of the same model that was bought for the upper school. Had I not known how to handle those printers I would have been unable to help and I would not have considered doing so with the enthusiasm I had.
    Throughout the duration of my internship I had also had to film and photograph many events such as the lower school picture day and science fair. This allowed me to help the school in ways that I enjoy. This carried over after my Internship as I recently filmed Rabbi Nevins’s book signing. Being able to film allows me to contribute to the school while doing something I greatly enjoy and the internship allowed me to do that quite a bit.
    And finally the internship gave me a deep appreciation for the patience of teachers who prepare every day for classes and have to make sure the class runs smoothly throughout. All in all the whole time has given me a lot of experience and enthusiasm for helping others. Without this internship I would have never volunteered to assemble several 3D but because of this opportunity I did.
  • David - May 13

    I’ve been working at my internship for almost 3 months now, and I have enjoyed my time. It’s crazy to think about how close we are to the end of both the internship period, and high school as a whole.

    To recap, since the beginning of my internship, I’ve been helping out with computer work at IMAF. I’ve done many things such as data entry, bookkeeping, and marketing all while sitting at the front desk helping anyone who would need it. Since my last blog post my role hasn’t really changed all too much at IMAF. I still come in a few days a week to help out with computer work, and sit at the front desk to help people as I have previously mentioned. Although since then I have also gotten plenty of new, and more unique projects that I have done.

    For instance a few weeks ago some of the managing systems I have worked with have gotten updated, and I was tasked with looking through these updates on the systems in order to understand how to use any new things that were added while also writing detailed notes about said updates. This line of work directly translated to what my next task would be as one of the updates introduced the ability to send surveys in which I was tasked with creating a survey based on guidelines provided to me, and sending it to everyone in that specific database. 

    I also did a lot of work on excel whether that was taking inventory of all the fighting equipment I was told to, updating some of the students information on things like if they took a belt test, or finding databases for potential new clients he was thinking of marketing to and putting it into an excel spreadsheet. Although one of my personal favorite projects was to create an ad for a public schools yearbook. They wanted to create an ad for a local public school, so I was tasked with going into entourage and creating an ad for them with my only instructions being the specific information they wanted in. I ended up successfully creating the ad, and after a bit of touching up the ad I created was ultimately sent to be put in that yearbook. 
  • Josh - May 13

    For the past two months, I’ve been working as a research intern at the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot, Israel. I’ve spent this time learning a great deal of prerequisite material necessary for theoretical physics research that I would otherwise learn in an undergraduate degree, such as linear algebra and complex analysis. I spent this past week wrapping up my research into Hamiltonians, and presented my findings to the research group I’m in yesterday. 

    Overall, it’s been a wonderful experience. Many thanks to Mrs. Sonet and Mrs. Soudry who supported me in finding this position, as well as to Mr. Hefetz, Rabbi Kallush, and Rabbi Nevins who were supportive in arranging the particulars of my time in Israel. 
  • Hannah - April 11

    This week was the start of ?!:New Works (pronounced “Interrobang New Works”), a theater festival at the Brick for new works under 20 minutes. During the day, the artists run through tech and final rehearsals. My boss and the Brick’s Artistic Director, Theresa Buchheister, is in the tech booth for all 40 shows running lights, sound and projections. The acts vary from dances, plays, drag revues, satirical presentations, musical numbers, and more. I got the opportunity to sit in the house during tech rehearsals, my occasional floor-taping and errand-schlepping acting as barter payment for seeing several shows in their final stages. I’m also on the Onstage Crew for some nights of the festival, moving sets and props between shows.

    ?! has been a quick pivot from the mostly administrative and archival work I’ve been doing for the last several weeks. Before the festival, I was focused on outreach and listing shows, classes and gallery installations at online publications. I reorganized the spreadsheets to more efficiently display what events have yet to be promoted. As new events come up, I (in collaboration with other Brick employees) send out information to several different media organizations. I also got the chance to sit in on a curation meeting for the Exponential Festival, a Brick-hosted, multi-venue multidisciplinary performance festival. I listened as Theresa and several other arts experts went through hundreds of submissions and venue options, sorting the chosen shows into venues based on creative, financial and logistical compatibility.

    Additionally, Theresa shared their experience as a curation board member on different residencies and fellowships, explaining the process of evaluating hundreds of detailed applications. These experiences gave me insight both as a representative of a theater and as an artist who will likely submit applications to similar festivals, residencies and fellowships in the future. I got a sense of what people prioritize when curating artistic work, at least within the indie Brooklyn scene. I have gotten to witness so many previously unknown sides of theater and performance work, and I look forward to putting that knowledge into practice.
  • Rachel - April 10

    We’re about halfway through the internship period, and I’ve been having a blast! It’s weird to think that we’re almost done for real this time because it really doesn’t feel like it’s been that long. 
    Since my last blog post I got, I’m going to call it promoted, because, during crunch time, there were a bunch of issues with both time and the flats (flats are a means of blocking out the different sections of a drawing to make the actual coloring faster and easier) so I offered to try my hand at it to see if I could be any help. And long story short, I got to do the flatting for a couple of pages in the Yonah book, which, on top of just being very cool, means I get to have my name in the back of the book. Also, it’s provided me with a role I can fulfill to contribute to the creation of art professionally, despite not pursuing it as a career. As of now, I’m thinking if nothing else, doing flats is something I’d like to keep doing even after my internship ends. However, I will say that if I do so, it’s time to get a new iPad because mine couldn’t handle the files, so I had to do the flatting on Photoshop using just my laptop touchpad.
    Other than doing flats, I've also been getting an opportunity to learn more about color theory, drawing rules, and generally about the work that a colorist does through coloring sample comics, some of which you can see on the Jewish Cartoon Instagram. This experience has been valuable, both in the way, it forces me to be more critical about the colors I use, the message those colors send, and other things on a more technical level, but also in that it forces me to deal with more than just the center of focus. When I draw, I don’t usually pay much attention to the background because I’d rather focus on the person, animal, or object that is the main focus. But the truth is the background is just as important, and this coloring opportunity forces me to think about that background, which combined with the aforementioned technical skills, has helped improve the overall look and feel of my art.
    Another cool project I’ve been working on is that I’ve been helping locate contact info for various people who have worked on the Batman franchise to collect names for a petition calling to free 4-year-old Ariel Bibas, a Batman superfan, and his family. It’s been bizarre to be collecting the contact info for people I’ve only ever pictured getting any interaction with through a meet-in-greet situation, and really recognizing that my supervisor casually knows many of them. I’ve been spending some time on that project every day, though I wish I had more to contribute, especially as I feel that most of the people whose info I find are already listed on the spreadsheet or don’t have publicly available and or easily found emails.
  • Bradley - April 3

    I’ve been working at my internship for more than 1 month and a half already. To me, the experience hasn’t felt very long. There is a relief in coming home to no homework or studying, except I’m not removed from school just yet. 
    Since the beginning of my internship, I have been an assistant teacher at TEKI, where helping and talking to kids has become my new study topic. My work is appreciated by the kids as much as my co-workers, since without me, they would just be talking to the wall all day. Most of the time there is only 1 co-worker present, so it’s much appreciated when they don’t have to work alone. Ever since my last blog, my role hasn’t changed much at TEKI. I come in a few days during the week to help out in after school classes, where I'm preparing the classes for kids who don’t show up until I’m ready to leave. The classes tend to be calm, no struggle in getting them to sit down or pay attention because the huge computers are so alluring to them, even I get jealous when they have fun playing on the expensive computers while I’m stuck with my potato laptop. My laptop isn’t too bad, but it doesn’t have cool flashing rainbow lights like the TEKI computers do. The only times it gets troublesome is when there are kids who are too energetic for their own good. One day is dedicated to building robotics using Legos, but instead of getting the pieces and building the robot, they instead just play with it like it's some action figure, break it, and slowly we get them to rebuild it. Even though the process is eternal, progress is somehow made to completion. 
    Recently, TEKI has been going on breaks when school is off for holidays, so I thought why not get more hours? I volunteered to help in the STEM department at GOA as another part of my internship, along with TEKI. Helping out as another assistant teacher for the STEM classes has given me the opportunity to assist with solving other people's coding related issues, as well as interacting with high schoolers instead of elementary school students, which is a nice change of environment. 
    Whenever someone has a problem with their STEM project, which is the routine daily occurrence in STEM, I struggle with them for a while until the solution reveals itself. Problem solving isn’t a flawless process. Half of the time I’m helping while half of the time I’m doing my own task. One of my first tasks was to test and prepare the code for a wireless boat project that one of the STEM classes is doing soon. Using 2 circuit boards I tried to send data between two devices wireless, and even requiring help with this showed the gargantuan nature of the task. Next I made a 3D model of a boat using the Fusion360 software. To print the boat, we had to laser cut sections of it in cardboard as 30 individual slices, and put it onto a skewer like a kebab. The final step is to vacuum press the boat to make a mold with it, but I had made the boat too full so it didn’t work, but at least I know how to skewer a cardboard boat now. One time I was tasked to duct tape posters to fully cover windows in the science lab, and those windows aren’t your average small time windows. The entire time the class inside the room was complaining about the calming and relaxing sound of violently ripping duct tape for wavy posters on windows. I’ve also helped make a slideshow for a lesson on DC Motors, which students can use to find information on the component, and am currently working on another slideshow for the component which can send signals wirelessly, but someone might have to teach me about it first. 
    Not everything I did involved STEM, like the duct taping of the windows, as I’ve gotten tasks from the GOA Arts department to work on props for the upcoming Middle School Beauty and the Beast musical production. The circuitry on the famous magic mirror was partially worked on by me, having the lights I added put the magic in the magic mirror. The big juicy steak that the Beast consumes was fully painted by me.
  • Adina - April 2

    My internship is working at Englewood Hospital and I have learned many skills while spending my time here. I work every Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. I really enjoy my time spent here because it brings me joy knowing that I am helping people out and it gives me great personal satisfaction to know that I am making a difference in the healthcare field. I feel greatly fulfilled everyday knowing that I am making an impact on the staff here but especially the patients at the hospital. I feel a large sense of purpose from doing beneficial work for the community. 
    One of the tasks I have done at the hospital was bringing patients to and from certain places they needed to be in the hospital in wheelchairs and this helped me learn my way around the whole hospital. Wheeling patients around the hospital gives me a chance to give back to people which is very important to me. The people that come in the hospital for appointments come in for all different reasons and each are in all different conditions. One of the patients I wheeled out was a man with only one leg since the doctors had to remove his other leg from a knee replacement gone wrong. It brought me a lot of joy to assist patients like this knowing that I was helping disabled people out. This particular situation promoted my personal growth and gave me a stronger overall self esteem because I was able to connect with the patient and assist him in his time of need. I have gained a lot of professional experience from my time spent at this hospital because I have done multiple tasks which have educated me in the healthcare field. 
    I spent a lot of my time at the Graf Center which is for acupuncture, meditation, massage, yoga, smoking cessation, holistic nutrition counseling, personal consultations with a medical doctor, and other wellness services. During my time spent in this department, my responsibilities were to make the beds for the patients and keep the rooms clean. An important task of keeping the rooms organized was folding and restocking pillowcases and sheets for the room, and placing them in the storage drawers in the rooms. This process made me understand how hospitals need to keep everything clean and tidy for the health of their patients and that a lot of work goes into this process. During my time spent in this department, I provided support for the patients during their acupuncture sessions while I helped to make sure the treatment rooms stayed organized. 
    Another task I performed in the Graf Center was several filing tasks. I rearranged the files in alphabetical order and assisted the concierge with many tasks that needed assistance. I liked doing these tasks because I was able to keep documents in a safe place and rearrange them for the employees to be able to find them quickly and easily. I enjoyed knowing that I was making a difference in this department by keeping these important documents organized. 
    I will greatly miss doing this internship because it taught me many leadership skills and endurance. I have become stronger in my communication skills, time management, and adaptability skills. These skills will stay with me for the rest of my life and will help me a lot in college and in any other professional job I have in the future. 
  • Josh - March 28

    For my internship, I’ve been working at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel. I walk to the institute every day, where I work in the lab group of Professor David Tannor (Mrs. Sonet’s brother!) So far, I’ve been learning about analogues between a specific formulation of classical mechanics (physics before around 1900) and quantum mechanics (physics after 1900).

    The Hamiltonian, named after its inventor, Irish physicist William Rowan Hamilton, represents the total energy of a system. One of the Hamiltonian’s interesting properties is that it describes both normal moving bodies as well as light in a single formulation, suggesting that the two share similar properties. Quantum mechanics, nearly a century later, describes light as both a particle and wave in a similar mathematical form, showing a strong link between these two theories. 

    The experience has been humbling. There’s a great deal of prerequisite knowledge needed to understand these foundational concepts in theoretical physics, and without a bachelor’s degree, I essentially have to play four years of catch-up to comprehend what I’m researching. Still, I enjoy it, and am looking forward to my remaining weeks here. 
  • David - March 25

    David Daskal:

    My internship is working at the Integrated Martial Arts and Fitness in Livingston. So far I’ve been mostly working under Anthony Gerber who is the co-owner of the dojo. 

    I was hired with the primary objective to help out with all the computer work they needed help getting dealt with, but since I have started the internship I have worked on a greater variety of things that I had expected when I was first hired.

    My first week was one of the slower weeks, and as such it was the perfect time for me to be trained in the things I would need to do. IMAF uses multiple different managing systems, and over the course of the internship I was taught how to use every part of it that I would need to. The first major task I did with these systems was data entry. A lot of data entry. My first week and a half essentially primarily consisted of going through hundreds if not thousands of leads on databases and sorting them both within the databases and through spreadsheets. As the weeks went by my work variety only increased.

    Using the databases I have sorted my next task was to market to potential clients through email campaigns. I both did this through gmail, and the mailing list that IMAF has for the people subscribed to it. I would also help with bookkeeping in which I would help record, and organize financial data provided to me into easily understood spreadsheets. I was also tasked with the goal of creating flyers to help promote events IMAF is hosting in which I had to find a flier creator myself, learn how to use it myself, and design the flyers with only the wording of previous advertisements as an example. During all of my projects I was also sitting at the front desk which meant I would be the one speaking to anyone that wanted something whether it be giving new people information they wanted, answering any questions that I could, or even them just asking to speak to Anthony. 

    My internship at IMAF has allowed me to learn a lot about how to be an independent worker, and how important the work really is. As IMAF is a dojo, most of my day consists of being told what my tasks are at the beginning of my shift, and completing them independently for most of the day as my supervisor is teaching his martial arts classes. If I am told to do something completely new then he might spend a maximum of 20-30 minutes teaching me how to do it before classes start, but otherwise I am given the trust to get my objectives done in whatever way I see fit.

    My internship also showed me how important the work is that I do in order for progress to be made. As I’ve mentioned my first major task during my internship was a lot of data entry, and while at the time it was very tedious I got to see the results of my work fairly quickly as it directly correlated with my next task of marketing to potential clients which I sorted out during my initial data entry phase. Since I am the only staff member doing computer work during my shifts I am given the sole responsibility to complete the tasks I have mentioned, and every new day I not only get to see the progress I am making, but I also get to see how my work has directly benefited IMAF.
  • Daniel - March 22

    Daniel Altzman:
    My internship is working primarily at the Golda Och Academy Lower School. I have been helping Mr. Mittleman, the technology teacher,  with his class for Pre-k to 5th grade as well as extracurriculars such as robotics and chess clubs. I also occasionally go to the Upper School to work with the middle school robotics club or the middle school electronics elective.
    My primary responsibility is in preparing materials for classes and helping students with any tech support they would need. As these children are quite young they often find themselves lost when navigating a computer and need some help to understand how to do certain tasks.
    I am also working on other longer term projects such as helping put together the lower school yearbook and the science fair website as well as making 3D printed pins for the fourth graders in the science fair. I am currently working on organizing the advertisements for the yearbook so that they are all where they need to be to work the best. For the science fair website I am getting all of the fourth graders pictures as well as a short description of their experiments and a video of them explaining their experiment in detail. The pins were all 3D designs made by the fourth graders that relate to their experiments that Mr. Mittleman, Dr. Kelmanovich, and I have been printing out over the past few weeks.
    My last major responsibility is helping get pictures and videos for the school. Throughout my time I have been taking pictures of Gan and Pre-k classes, the lower school clubs, and helping get pictures and videos of the observatory at the Upper School. The pictures and videos of the Gan and Pre-k classes are of them learning of and making mechanical devices such as seesaws 
    Overall, throughout my internship so far I have been learning a lot about what it takes to be a teacher and how difficult the job can be. You often need to prepare for several classes with little down time and need to work on things for the school outside of class. The classes I am helping with don't even have tests or homework that need grading and overall it puts in perspective how difficult it is to be a teacher.
  • Rex - March 15

    This week marked a significant chapter in my internship journey at Pro Staff Montclair, a thriving physical therapy practice that recently underwent transformative changes following its acquisition by a hospital. The week commenced with a lot of adjustments as we were briefed on new protocols for PT aids. One of the most notable changes was the transition from using a spray bottle and towel to clean patient beds to utilizing wet wipes. This shift demanded a more meticulous approach to cleaning, as well as the adoption of gloves to protect against the chemicals present in the wipes.

    Moreover, the acquisition caused a significant decrease  in clientele, as a result of the acquisition instructing the practice to be more selective with insurance acceptance. This shift underscored the evolving dynamics within the healthcare industry and the importance of being adaptable  in our roles as interns. Amidst these changes, I found myself faced with the task of informing my supervisor of my unavailability for work on Friday due to a family event in Florida. Thankfully, he displayed understanding and offered me the opportunity to make up the hours on Tuesday night, marking my first solo shift as a PT aid.

    Tuesday night arrived, and with it came a mix of excitement and apprehension as I prepared for the challenge ahead. The prospect of working independently with patients on a different schedule was both exhilarating and daunting. As I entered the practice, I resolved to approach the shift with confidence and determination. Despite the initial nerves, I quickly settled into my responsibilities, assisting patients with their exercises and ensuring their needs were met with professionalism and care. It was a gratifying experience to see how my training and preparation had equipped me to handle the demands of the role.

    Wednesday brought a change of pace as I familiarized myself with the practice's phone system and patient interaction protocols. I seized the opportunity to shadow a seasoned physical therapist, observing firsthand the nuances of patient care and communication. It was enlightening to witness the therapist's ability to connect with patients on a personal level and tailor their treatments to address their individual needs. This experience served as a valuable reminder of the importance of empathy and compassion in the field of physical therapy.

    Approaching Thursday, my final day of the week, I made a concerted effort to enhance patient engagement by fostering all different types of conversations during their appointments. I recognized that part of being a good physical therapist is creating a positive and supportive environment for patients. By engaging them in meaningful conversation and offering encouragement, I hoped to make their appointments more enjoyable and motivating.

    Reflecting on the week, I realized how much I had grown both personally and professionally. Each day presented new challenges and opportunities for growth, and I emerged from the experience with a renewed sense of confidence in my abilities as a future physical therapist. As I continue my internship journey, I am excited to build upon the skills and knowledge I have acquired and to make a meaningful difference in the lives of the patients I serve.
  • Jesse - March 11

    This semester, I have made my grand return to Golda Och Academy as an apprentice for the teachers of our fabulous upper school English department  To say I have been working hard during this internship would be an understatement. However, the work that I have been doing has been deeply meaningful. When I graduate college, I plan on becoming a high school English teacher, so this internship program has allowed me to take one step forward in accomplishing my future career aspirations. 

    During my internship, I spend most days observing various middle and high school English classes. Through these observations, I have picked up on various recurring teaching techniques. As a result of attending lessons with the mindset of a teacher, I can focus on how information is conveyed and what methods are used to guide students. Additionally, by observing various teachers of diverse age groups and skill levels, I have begun to compare and contrast how lessons are modified for different types of students. After auditing these lessons, I have also been given the opportunity to debrief with each teacher and learn from them how they plan their classes. as well as what they hope their students take away from each lesson

    Simultaneously, every day I work on various behind-the-scenes projects that are intended to improve the overall functioning of the English department at GOA. For example, I was tasked with filling in a spreadsheet of which GOA-assigned books held diverse perspectives in contrast to the traditional Western canon. This project is part of the larger English department's initiative to include a more expansive catalog of books that offer different perspectives from various communities and cultures. Additionally, I have been hard at work on standardizing how essays are written in the Golda Och upper school. It has been a consistent challenge at GOA that every teacher, in almost every humanities classroom, demonstrates how to write essays in very different ways. As this can be very confusing to students,  I have been tasked with melding each English teacher’s essay writing techniques to create one uniform English writing style guide (something that would have been very useful to me in high school).

    Overall, I am having a very educational and meaningful experience in my internship. As someone who likes to stay inside of their comfort zone, GOA has allowed me to see my friends and teachers in a familiar environment while simultaneously broadening my horizons with new types of learning. 
  • Hannah - March 8

    My internship is working with the Brick Theater at their Brick Aux and main locations. So far, I have been working most closely with Theresa Buchheister, the Artistic Director of the organization, but also with Peter Mills Weiss, the director of Aux and other artists/staff members.
    I am working with them now on archiving and organizing previous shows and festivals. Their annual new works festival, “?!” (pronounced Interrobang), had information scattered across the Brick’s Facebook, website, and other locations. I was tasked with including all show and artist names in one alphabetized list on one document, with links to the artists’ professional websites. This was part of a larger new initiative with the Brick to prioritize archiving theater in the 2010s.
    I’m also joining the team for resurrecting a bimonthly program called Salon, an event with performers and teachers in different disciplines presenting their work for 10 minutes each. This can be anything from music, theater or dance to culinary demonstration, burlesque or an avant-garde retelling of the Lady Gaga “Telephone” music video. Salon was a monthly event at Theresa’s previous space, but a combination of the original host moving away, and logistical difficulty halted it for a few years. 
    While I want to engage with experimental indie theater all over New York and beyond, I have a particular fondness for The Brick because I have worked with them before as an artist. I wrote, directed, and produced a play and it opened at Brick Aux on a split bill. I had an incredible experience with my collaborators, The Brick and Theresa and I knew that I wanted to continue working with them in the future. I have also attended several shows at both locations and have fallen out of my seat laughing and crying. I look forward to this semester and hope to keep working with The Brick beyond my GOA 180 hours.
  • Rachel - March 4

    My internship is working as an assistant to Gorf, a former DC editor and manager of the Batman franchise, who has since founded his own comic publisher, Avalanche Comics Entertainment (ACE). As a long-time comic nerd, and in particular of the Batman franchise, I was thrilled when I was offered a position at ACE.
    My internship is super flexible in that I can work however many hours I want, from wherever I want, at whatever times I want, aside from if I choose to attend a meeting, in which case there is a set time. I also don't really have a designated job that I'm always working on. Rather, I get assigned tasks as I complete the earlier tasks, and there's always something to do. But this system is perfect for me as it means I get to sample a little bit of everything, I have the freedom to change my schedule on the fly, and work more hours on the ambulance (and finally get my CPR success rate above 0%) due to being able to work on my internship in the downtime between calls. The only downside is that if anyone ever checks the exact hours I choose to work, they might notice I'm working at bizarre hours, such as 2 am.
    Currently, ACE is preparing to launch a whole series of comics that adapt Jewish texts and has been working hard to finish the current book, Yona, which is to go to the editor within the next few weeks. As a result, I jumped in at a bit of a weird point, with there both being less for me to do as all the prep work was completed and because things are a bit hectic as people scramble to make final changes, which I've been told is kind of the norm for this field. Despite that, an active effort to include me wherever possible has been made, and I've gotten to see behind the screen of how a comic goes from conceptualization to final product, attend all sorts of meetings, look at potential new artists, see the pages in each step of production, design posters, make cold calls, assist with behind-the-scenes tasks necessary to create a graphic novel, and do data entry…so much data entry.
    I joke about the data entry because I swear if you look at my time log, because, despite how many other things I’ve done, I’d bet you at least half of it was data entry. But that doesn’t mean it’s not important. Aside from producing comics, Gorf also travels to do book tours/signings, teach classes, lead Jewish cartoon workshops, and serve as a scholar in residence at shuls. However, to get those bookings, there are a lot of people that need to be contacted. A lot of my job has been collecting the contact info of those who might be interested and putting it into an easily readable spreadsheet to make that process easier. And while that may seem boring… and kind of is after 10+ hours of one location… it’s important and necessary. In that way, I have actually enjoyed the experience as it’s a valuable lesson in being part of a team and all the administrative work that is necessary for pulling off any big project. 
    Overall, I’m really enjoying my internship and expect things to only get more fun, especially once the team begins to put more focus on new projects that I can provide more assistance with.
  • Bradley - February 29

    My internship as an assistant teacher has been ongoing at a little place in Florham Park called TEKI, which stands for Technology, Education, Knowledge, Instruction.
    The time of the year I joined the TEKI crew was interesting, as even though I was recruited as an assistant teacher, my first time there was during an event they had hosted for the FIRST Lego League, an organization that lets kids problem solve using Lego. I, along with other interns, began by setting up tables for each team of elementary schoolers who were competing. Well, “competing” doesn’t actually apply to this event, since every team got a reward in the end, and they had to get creative with the names for all the rewards thanks to the amount of teams there were. All the activities I helped with involved kids from elementary school to middle school, with an emphasis on teamwork and participation.

    I definitely wasn’t pleased with how crowded it was getting. While most of the interns had left by the halfway mark, I oversaw the chess club and Lego bins in the back corner. It was cool seeing what Lego robotics the elementary schoolers were making, as I never really played with Lego, but knew instead of making complicated robots I just made messes. TEKI hasn’t hosted an event like this one since, but the main task stayed the same throughout my experience, assisting kids with the tasks they are given while the paid employees do the teaching. I got to know a bit about my co-workers who were pleasant to be around, and have a similar interest in technology like me. The two I interact with the most are Ethan and Cole, who teach the classes everyday.

    The classes take place in a moderately sized room filled with gaming computers, consoles, and lots of RGB lights. A window at the end of the room allows anyone to peek into the Florham Park Sports Dome, which it shares building space with, and see all the kids playing sports. Alternatively, the window lets the sports kids peer into the room to attract more customers. For the after school classes, which is where I spend the bulk of my internship assisting, my daily routine goes like this. I arrive 30 minutes before classes start to help prepare everything. I turn on all the lights, boot up the computers, and prepare any outside activities if we need. It takes longer when setting up in person. Everyday is a different class, but most days we use a program called Minecraft Education Edition, which is the game Minecraft but integrated with coding. Each day is also centered around a theme like DC heroes, or battle royale, where I assist the kids in whatever activity is related to that. For the DC heroes themed day, the kids had to solve coding problems in Minecraft with Wonder Woman, and I too felt like a hero, coming to save the day for anyone stuck on the problems. It’s not real coding where you type out commands for the computer, but instead dragging blocks together that make characters in the game move or interact with the game. I spent time helping a few kids who have a harder time grasping how it worked than others. When there was a tough problem, I wouldn’t blatantly give the kid the correct answers, but instead slowly guide them through how it works and tips on what to do so they can piece it together themselves.  

    It’s not all superheroes and sunshine though, as sometimes it really did replicate the real life job experience of menial tasks made to make you question your purpose in life, or at least that's how it felt when sorting Legos for an hour. The after school classes started very recently, so some of the classes are off to a slow start. They may pick up the pace later with more interesting tasks, but that's part of the experience. In preparation for the coming classes, I was tasked with sorting Legos in the correct boxes so kids can build their fancy Lego contraptions later. It made me feel all the more important knowing that if I failed, these kids who rely on me will never find the right pieces to build their moving Lego giraffe. 

    In reality my perils in sorting Legos aren’t that serious, but this is the type of personality kids love. The first day the kids had to build Lego cars, and it was as fun for them as it was for me, and I knew I could make it more exciting than it first seemed. I sat down and talked to them, asking how their Lego cars are so cool and that I have 15 at home. I could only dream of having that many Lego cars at home, but now they believed I was the real deal, and so they valued the Lego pieces I gave them since it was coming from a self-proclaimed expert. I encouraged them to build their cars, gave them really cool pieces to use, and they were all over me by the end of it. TEKI is more about encouraging kids to interact with each other and have fun doing so. The task given to younger kids really serves as a front to get them to talk. I understood the assignment, made my snarky comments, and was on my way, only to return the next day. TEKI does tons of events, even hosting some birthday parties soon, which I’m excited to help out in. Being at TEKI has helped me get better at interacting with kids, and I hope to get better in the coming months.