The theme of the 2018 North Carolina Technology in Education Society’s (NCTIES) Conference was “What Box?”
“…So much more than just tech support” was the answer Gibbons STARs gave when representing our school in the Student Showcase segment of the conference, held recently at the Raleigh Convention Center. In their first year presenting at the showcase, nine of the 23 members of STARs (Student Technical Assistance Resource) talked about the growth of the program at Gibbons and its impact on and integration into the life of the school.
“NCTIES highlighted how unusual our STARs program truly is, and being able to share ideas with so many people will help us to continually improve it.” Olivia Parker '19
“These students give their gifts and talents to Gibbons every day,” noted David Seninsky, a member of the school’s IT department and Director of the STARs program. They volunteer their time to assist the school during their lunch periods and before and after school, Seninsky said, adding that, “attending the conference was an effective way for them to share what they do with others.”
Now in its sixth year, STARs help maintain the 1,800+ Lenovo laptops students and educators use each day. This year, students could also enroll in STARs as a for-credit class and become certified to repair the devices at Gibbons, which is a Lenovo certified repair center. Three students will be certified by the end of the fourth quarter, Seninsky said.
Along with teaching students to work with computers, the program provides real-world experience and hands-on applications they will need if they choose to enter the tech field. They also develop interpersonal skills by interacting with others when troubleshooting laptops.
Just ask Olivia Parker ’19. “NCTIES highlighted how unusual our STARs program truly is, and being able to share ideas with so many people will help us to continually improve it,” she said. “By teaching students to be more technologically literate, through immersion during class time in websites, applications, and even games, Gibbons prepares us for the future by providing experience with tools essential to the modern workplace.”