STEAM High School Students Gain Unique Experience Interning at UK

By Whitney Harder

(Feb. 13, 2015) — In any given program and semester, college students are leaving the classroom, and often times campus, to get a glimpse of the professional world or their future career by interning. What isn't as common are high school students going to a college campus every day to get that same experience, but for STEAM students interning at the University of Kentucky, that's just what they did.

"Most high schools give you one perspective of how the real world is, but in an internship like this, you get to really experience it," said Gaby Carreno, a sophomore at the STEAM Academy who has been interning with the Hive, the UK College of Arts and Sciences' Creative and Technical Services. "I feel like if more high schools offered this, more people would be confident in what they choose later on in life."

Carreno has been coming to campus since Jan. 2 to learn video editing skills in the Hive, specifically animation within the Adobe Premiere software. She's only in her second year of high school, yet she finished her first internship last month with help from UK students and staff in the College of Arts and Sciences, and from her high school, the STEAM Academy.

STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. The school opened in 2013, a collaboration between UK and Fayette County Public Schools coordinated through the College of Education, and offers high school students an innovative approach to education. The university and Fayette County Public Schools recently announced plans to move the school to campus.

"As part of an education at STEAM, students have the opportunity to earn a one-month internship each January with the expectation that each student will see how science, technology, engineering, the arts and math can be practically applied in the world in which we live. STEAM has partnered with multiple Lexington locations, including the University of Kentucky," said Geralyn Strange, director of community partnerships at STEAM.

Strange says the one-month internship period in January, called J-term, is meant to provide a meaningful real-world internship while mimicking a college schedule. 

At UK, Hive staff worked with six interns on how to use video and design software and equipment. The interns worked for the month of January to produce a promotional video about the STEAM internship experience as a whole, displayed above, as well as tangible products that will help promote events at STEAM, such as a poster design for an upcoming dance.

Shaan Azeem, art director at the Hive, and John Buckman, director of video production, introduced the Hive interns to the Adobe Creative Suite. After exploring the programs, the interns were assigned roles based on what kind of media each was interested in.

"The students did absolutely all of the writing, videography, editing and sound recording," Buckman said. "We trained them with the basics and guided them towards tutorials to continue learning."

"I've been working mainly with Adobe software," said Bailey Ogger, a STEAM sophomore. "When I came in, I didn't really know how to use any of it, but I've become very familiar with it, and not just that, but with communication skills and business etiquette. I've enjoyed it a lot."

Another Hive intern, Austin Stephens, said he has always wanted to learn how to use the Adobe Premiere software to edit video and audio, but usually you have to pay for it. With his internship at the Hive, Stephens said everyone has been a huge help in teaching him, plus he was able to use the software for free.

WRFL on campus also hosted interns, teaching five students the art of speaking articulately and communicating their thoughts clearly while on air. The interns learned to follow the regulations set forth by the FCC, how to catalog music and how to screen the many albums sent to the station each week. Strange says that in March, STEAM will be home to a local radio station, and they are anxious to have STEAM students not only apply what they learned in their internships, but also continue the learning process in the world of technology and radio communications. 

Additionally, UK Good Samaritan Hospital extended an invitation to one STEAM student with a passion for medicine to spend a month shadowing and volunteering with an endocrinologist. Shadowing both in the clinic and also in the operating room, she witnessed the many facets of surgery. Strange says that the internship offered a variety of new experiences to add to the intern's resume of past medical opportunities, and as the student approaches college in two years, "those experiences will enable her to better define and pursue a career in the medical field."

One STEAM student even interned in the main machine shop in the basement of the Chemistry-Physics Building. Working alongside staff to see the effects of combining science and engineering, she saw the practical side of the field. Not only did she learn how to use several pieces of equipment, but she also learned how they were used at UK, in the real world. "The hands-on experiences she has had this month are unmatched!" Strange said.

"All of the experiences allow these students to extend learning beyond the four walls of the traditional classroom. They are receiving real-world experiences that will enhance the learning back in the classroom. Without question, this month has been the highlight of many students’ high school careers thus far.

“We are excited to evaluate this process and plan internships for future school years.  Working with UK has motivated these students to work hard, study efficiently, and ask great questions about the future. We could not have asked for a better partner with those we have worked with at UK in the various campus areas," said Strange.  

Andrew Groves, a STEAM sophomore interning in the Hive, agrees. "This opportunity has been amazing. It's preparing us for our futures," said Groves about being on a college campus. "Getting to experience most things high school students don't is incredible."

STEAM students involved in internships at UK include:

·         Lauren Watson - UK Chemistry Lab

·         Gaby Carreno - A&S Hive

·         Eleanor Clifton - UK Hospital Surgical Rotation

·         Bailey Ogger - A&S Hive

·         Ethan DeRossett - A&S Hive

·         Austin Stephens - A&S Hive

·         Andrew Groves - A&S Hive

·         Harrison Neyland - A&S Hive

·         Wils Quinn - WRFL 

·         Trustun Ashburn - WRFL

·         Paul Timoshchuk - WRFL

·         Zachary Mink - WRFL

·         Shawn Reynolds - WRFL

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