May 19, 2017

New Bedford High Interns get Real World Experience at LABS

Katelynn Amaral Gio Rico

Gio Rico and Katelynn Amaral are finishing up a school-year long internship at ImpactLABS. Both are computer science students at New Bedford High who were looking for a chance to gain real-world, hands-on experience with coding.

Katelynn and Gio spent three afternoons a week at LABS, working on two projects:
Setting up a way to collect data and analyze rainfall correlation with groundwater level in the Allen’s Pond Aquifer, and testing Digi Xbee Sensors and Gateway to try to get data into our system.

LABS Lead Engineer Dan Mahoney serves as Chairman of the IT Academy Overseer Board at New Bedford High. Dan comments,

“Many high school students do not understand the difference between work and school. LABS believes that we offer an exciting chance to gain that experience.”

He adds, “[Katelynn and Gio] are a very good team. Two curious minds with slightly different skillsets lets them approach problems with that difference.”

NB High Internship

When asked about their experience, Katelynn explains:

“Through this internship I’ve come to learn more about the IoT process and what it’s like to be one cog in a bigger machine. I’ve seen the various aspects of the IoT solution process and gotten the chance to contribute to it as well.

“I’ve also learned what it’s like to work more in a team and to not rely on just my own knowledge. In classes at school most assignments are done alone, so I never really got a taste for what it was like to work together with someone.”

“I learned that my own way isn’t the only way.”

Adds Gio,

“I learned that failure isn’t an option…before this internship I never experienced a challenge in coding, because I never pushed myself, but this internship gets me to push myself and to actually try when I come across [potential for] failure.”

Both Kateylnn and Gio want to continue their computer science studies and both plan to attend Wentworth Institute of Technology in the fall. Gio would like to focus in Cybersecurity, while Katelynn wants to explore all career options related to computer science.

The current trend in education is to prepare students for career opportunities in STEAM disciplines (science, technology, engineering, art and math). LABS believes we have a unique opportunity to solve the grand challenges of our time with IoT, and that future leaders can be found anywhere. Through the LABS intern program, students get to experience real-world problem solving with IoT, which will inform and prepare them to go forth into the world and find their purpose.