Opportunities to Engage in Learning Outside the Classroom Abound

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. Mahatma Gandhi

TecBRIDGE supports, facilitates, and fosters relationships to ensure that our youth and entrepreneurs of every age can continue to learn and grow.   On NEPA Gives Day in June, Executive Director Don Webster, extended a challenge to tecBRIDGE nation to donate in support of quality internship programs for high school students. Thanks to the generosity of donors and to the overall generous nature of area entrepreneurs, businesses and academic institutions, tecBRIDGE was able to facilitate quality internships this summer for high school and college students.

Mary McDermott

Mary McDermott, a recent undergraduate student at Penn State with a bachelor’s degree in Business Marketing, says her internship was an amazing experience in several capacities.   “Not only have I learned about the industry, but I have also learned about myself. It has provided me with exposure to business meetings. This has allowed me to become comfortable in different settings and different scenarios. It has also given me the opportunity to network by giving me the ability to meet new people.”

Nicholas Booth

Abington Heights Senior Nicholas Booth described his internship experience as first-class. Nicholas says, “I think if I had to sum it up in one word, I would use exposure…from connecting with local startups to learning new skills, the experience allowed me to not only gain exposure to the entrepreneurship ecosystem of the Wyoming Valley, but also to new skills and ideals which will help shape my own career trajectory.”

 Nicholas says he enjoyed the fact that the material and assignments seemed foreign to him at first. “It wasn’t menial work; it was an immense opportunity to learn and grow. I was able to partner with institutions across the gamut from local tech businesses to higher education. I’ve developed relationships that will most certainly persist past this summer and into my career. It has truly been an invaluable experience.”

Kaitlyn Marley

Hazleton Area Academy of Sciences senior—and 2022 High School Business Plan Competition Winner—Kaitlyn Marley, said her internship experience was a win-win situation for her because she plans to major in chemistry on the pre-med track in college.

As a tecBRIDGE intern, she primarily worked with Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine to upload current data entries on the Regional Resource Portal, and she updated equipment entries and doctors’ profiles for the public to view.  

Kaitlyn says, “While ensuring that the entries for Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine were updated, I was able to learn more about the equipment used in medical schools. This is beneficial to understand for my future. I have thoroughly enjoyed connecting with staff from Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine and tecBRIDGE.”

Michael Andrews

Michael Andrews, a senior at Wilkes-Barre Area High School STEM Academy, experienced internships with tecBRIDGE and VizVibe through which he was empowered to present at tecBRIDGE’s Innovation Conference in August alongside of VizVibe co-founder and CEO Kevin Jones.

Michael says, “I am really passionate about additive manufacturing and am excited for where it can go. I got to talk to representatives of Johnson College who have a phenomenal print lab, and who host an annual print competition for high schoolers (something that’s definitely on my agenda for this year).”

Interns Share Their Thoughts on our Innovation Conference

Mary says “The conference was filled with passionate energy; the entire day was packed with interesting presentations and important information to remember as I develop further in my professional career. I loved being a part of the conference.”

Michael just can’t get enough of 3D printing. He says, “I think my favorite part of the event would have to be going to Lackawanna College to see their student-run restaurant, 409 on Adams. Besides the delicious food and drinks, the restaurant also had a chocolate 3D printer. I have heard of these printers, but had never actually seen one before then. It was such a fascinating machine, so much so that we actually bought a Food Extruder and fitted it to one of our existing Ender 3 V2s at WBA STEM Academy.”

Lackawanna College Culinary Students made chocolate pineapples on their 3D printer for the Innovation Conference’s closing event, because pineapples symbolize hospitality.
Now that Wilkes-Barre Area STEM Academy has a Food Extruder for its 3D printer, Michael jokes, ” I must say, failed prints have never been so sweet!”

Nicholas felt the conference was the crescendo of his internship experience. “Everything about it resembled the synchronization of a great Symphony—every part was executed flawlessly. The sessions were both captivating and informative. Two tracks throughout the day allowed attendees to pick and choose what they felt best suited their interests. It was a true collaboration among all of the community’s moving parts and most certainly a day to remember.”

Kaitlyn used the time to network with educators and meet new people. “I experienced several entrepreneurship competencies throughout my day at the conference that still sticks with me today. These include coaching, interpersonal skills, and lateral thinking.  These were utilized throughout my attendance at both the private sector and academic track events.”

Know that you have certainly not seen the last of these bright, talented and curious young people. Be sure to introduce yourself if you see them at a TecBRIDGE or other community event. Relationship-building is key for all of us!