Alex, 14, recently completed a week long work experience placement at Inicio.
We did a quick interview with Alex to find out about his interests, and why he decided to do his prao (work experience) with Inicio.
Q. When did you first become interested in the field of technology?
A. I have always been interested in the concept of engineering and electronics. I always liked just putting something together to see how it moves around. I had boxes and boxes of lego as a kid!
I also like to play video games. Even though some of them are action based, I also like games where you can just be creative – like Mindcraft, or strategy games (with a historical focus) from the Swedish gaming company Paradox.
Technology is a way of taking science, and you throw science at a problem until it goes away! (laughs). An accelerator is so small but yet it does so much. If you mix engineering and technology you get amazing things! That is something that has always fascinated me.
Q. Why did you decide to do your work experience with Inicio?
A. My sister introduced me to Inicio as she took part in your summer school last year, and Girls In ICT day this year. I thought Inico would be a good place because I have always wanted to learn more about engineering, programming and all that kind of stuff.
Q. What activities did you do during your placement?
Day 1: I built an ArtBot – I called him “Bob the Alien” – and a “CubeNode”.
Day 2: Learnt how to organise a conference.
Day 3: Worked together with two of Inicio’s mentors to learn how to program a Micro:bit.
Day 4: We brainstormed events for Inicio’s summer school.
Day 5: Worked together with Professor Mark Smith in the MentorSpace lab. I learnt how the accelerator in the CubeNode works, and how to create a Printed Circuit Board (PCB).
Q. What was your favourite activity?
A. I really enjoyed the first day building the CubeNode and the Artbot. It was very funny to watch the Artbot spin around like crazy.
I also learnt about things I did not think I would learn at any point this year, like the things with java script, and how the accelerator worked. It was really interesting.
Q. You have wearing a NASA t-shirt. How you ever visited the Space Centre?
A. No, but I visited the CosmoCaixa – Science Museum in Barcelona. It has virtual reality exhibit, that allows you to feel like you are in space. It is very cool as I also like sci-fi a lot too.
Q. Would you recommend the work experience to others?
The Prao is great, if you are interested in programming, engineering, any of those type of things, you learn quite a bit. And maybe you are not sure if you are interested in those type of things, you might find out that you do. It is a pretty easy Prao, and not boring!
Q. In three words, how would you describe your time with Inicio?
A. Inspired, helpful and trustworthy!
Q. If you could do work experience anywhere else what organisation would you choose?
A. Microsoft or Paradox Interactive.