BRONXVILLE, N.Y. -- Tech-savvy students at Bronxville High School are taking part in an innovative yearlong program emboldening them to pursue their interests in technology and apply their knowledge to real-life situations.
As members of the Student Help Desk, the teens are equipped to support the entire district and assist their peers and teachers in resolving a wide range of technology issues.
The program was offered as a course to 11 students this year after its introduction last fall.
Participants in the initiative use the online Help Desk system called ServiceNow, which is utilized by professionally trained technicians.
Through the program, the students are able to investigate a new educational topic each week, explore new interests and participate in troubleshooting throughout the district.
Students who participated in the program last year but were unable to fit the course into their schedules are still able to take part by attending meetings and assisting with projects.
“I’ve always had a fascination with hackers and how they could essentially do whatever they wanted on the internet if they were good enough,” said sophomore Nicole Semenyuk, who enrolled in the program this year after studying coding and computer science her freshman year.
So far, Semenyuk has been able to apply her coding knowledge to a series of online screencasts designed to help people understand how technology works.
Senior Liam Siegal, who enrolled in the course after studying coding and theater technology his junior year with instructional technology specialist Brad Ashley, said he joined the Help Desk because of his strong desire to help people, along with the prospect of enriching his technology skills and knowledge.
“The Student Help Desk has taught me how to solve problems,” said Siegal, who answers assigned tickets such as connecting a TV monitor to the network, establishing a Wi-Fi connection and rebooting computers for students. “Often, the problems we have are a simple fix that we would never have thought of, so you just have to be open-minded and creative with how you find a solution to your problem.”
As part of the program, students are able to explore a wide range of interests, including troubleshooting, website development, computer science and programming, cybersecurity, film production and theater technology.
Siegal, who is involved in the latter, said he has become proficient in operating the state-of-the-art lighting and sound booth in the district’s auditorium.
“The coolest part was seeing how a small command can manipulate how the stage looks,” he said. “Lights and music can create a certain sense and vibe for people without anything else, which is the amazing part of how one basic (computer command) can make such a big impact.”
Jennifer Forsberg, Bronxville School director of technology, said the program is designed to engage students in different aspects of technology and encourage them to be leaders and innovators in their school and greater community.
Forsberg said that the student-technicians, who don’t have access to proprietary information like passwords, maintain a blog on a number of computer science topics and recently launched a Twitter account.
For more information on the Student Help Desk, click here.
To follow the student-technicians on Twitter, click here.