VocabularySpellingCity and Science4Us were thrilled to host 40 SuperCoders from Dillard Elementary School in our office this week.
Dillard’s SuperCoders Club attracts students with an interest in technology and computers and helps them build skills and explore the career possibilities. The SuperCoders were accompanied by Dillard Elementary Principal, Angela Brown; Science/Math Coach, TaShara Jean-Baptiste; Literacy Coach, Dr. Tukes; and Science teacher, Ms. Jones-Blake. The students were divided into four small groups and they rotated through various stations to learn about different departments and jobs at VocabularySpellingCity and Science4Us. The stations included:
Customer Support – One of VocabularySpellingCity’s largest departments is Customer Support. Our Support team showed the SuperCoders the headsets they wear and how they “talk to customers with a smile.” The students learned about the scripts we follow when speaking with customers – saying hello, asking the reason for their call, resolving issues, and thanking them for being users. As the students were learning how the scripts work, the phone rang! “Who is ready to answer a phone?” Many hands went up, one was chosen, and suddenly there was Ezekiel on the phone saying (with a smile in his voice!) to a customer: “Hello, VocabularySpellingCity. I’m Ezekiel. How can I can help you?”
Ezekial was a natural! He listened patiently to the question and then asked if he could put the customer on hold for a few seconds while he checked on how to retrieve her password. What a star! We rotated roles and everyone got a turn talking to the customers and helping them solve their issues. This activity helped the students understand the skills they need to learn to be excellent customer support representatives.
Quality Assurance (QA) was the second station. The SuperCoders met the people who test web pages and software before it is released to the customers. The QA team showed them a game landing page that contained a number of errors and asked for the students’ help identifying the errors. The Dillard students found four different problems with the page, including misspellings and punctuation errors, missing images and broken links. Their findings were reported on a QA test plan to be shared with our web developer, who would show the students how to fix the errors and implement the corrections on the web page.
The third station was Coding for Web Design, where the SuperCoders learned about how the development team designs web pages and fixes errors reported by the QA department. The students learned about the basic tools of web design, what HTML looks like, how to update code, and how to use tools like Photoshop to modify graphics. They reviewed the QA test plan and their findings with our web developer, who fixed all of the errors on the web page and showed them the finished product, ready for release to our customers.
The fourth station was 3D Modeling, where our 3D graphic artist began the training by showing the students images from various animated movies to see if they knew the difference between 2D art (i.e., The Lion King) and 3D art (i.e., Toy Story). It turns out, all of the SuperCoders knew the difference at a glance. He then asked if they knew how 3D was created. He opened a 3D tool and pulled out a shape and asked if they could identify it. “A cylinder!,” they yelled. (It turns out they know their 3D shapes pretty well too.) He squeezed one side and stretched the other, transforming the cylinder into a funnel. Then he adjusted the rim and put three spheres on top of it. “An ice cream cone!,” exclaimed the SuperCoders. Then the artist showed them how he could apply different colors, textures, and lighting schemes until he achieved photo-realistic rendering of the cone with the flavors chosen by the students.
The last station was 2D Art Creation and Animation, where the students learned that movies and animation are a simply a series of images displayed at 20 frames per second, which is just fast enough to trick the human eye to perceive smooth motion. VocabularySpellingCity character, JoJo the monkey was given new eyebrows and our artists showed the students how to animate his
eyebrows to make a very funny expression. The SuperCoders also learned how to create a “ruckus cloud,” the animated cloud used in cartoons to show lots of action or wrestling with occasional glimpses of faces or limbs. Lastly, they learned how the animations can be inserted into the code of interactive exercises that those seen in Science4Us and VocabularySpellingCity.
We had a fantastic time hosting this incredible group of students. This experience gave our staff the opportunity to interact with students who actually use our sites, and the students learned about a range of career possibilities and what it takes to run an educational technology company. It was truly a win-win situation for everybody involved.
The following is a short video, made in 2014, about the career possibilities available at our company. If you have trouble viewing it here, click over to the Careers page to see it.
Special thanks to everyone involved in the effort to pull the exciting morning together. The producers at Dillard were Science/Math Coach, TaShara Jean-Baptiste; Literacy Coach, Dr. Tukes; and Science teacher, Ms. Jones-Blake; and at VSC & S4U: Jennifer Mercury and Kris Craig. The presenters were Aaron, Nancy, John, Juliana, Bertrand, Rik, and Renee. The team leaders were Spirit, Kris, Dany, and Nela.
The Dillard team was led by Broward Principal of the Year, Angela Brown; and the Executive Producer was John Edelson.
Question: Would we host students from other schools at our offices for a similar experience?
Answer: We’d love to. Of course, we particularly like it if they are customers for our products.
BTW, our office is in Fort Lauderdale, FL at Cypress Creek and Andrews.
19 thoughts on “Dillard SuperCoders Explore Tech Careers”
The students really enjoyed visiting the Mayor and Spelling City. The awesome staff that you have there were very informative and kept the students authentically engaged. I am sure the students will continue to talk about this experience with peers because they truly had a GREAT time.
We were so happy you were able to join us! Thank you for chaperoning a fabulous group of students!
To everyone at Spelling City ,
Thank you for allowing me to participate in this AMAZING event. My favorite part of this event was the part when Mr.Aaron helped us make phone calls. Please continue opening your doors and giving students like me a chance to grow. Thank you Mr. Edelson for letting us visit your business , and allowing your workers to have lot’s of fun with us. . Also, thanks for the tasty treats.
Thank you for allowing me participate in this Awesome event. My favorite part of this event was when we was making the calls with Mr. Aaron. Please continue opening your doors and giving students like me a chance to grow. Thank you Mr. Edelson for allowing us to come to Spelling City.
Thank You very much,
Thank you for allowing me to participate in this AWESOME event. My favorite part of this event was answering the customer service call and talking to us about the importance of having good manners while doing customer service over the phones. Your employee Mr. Aaron was the best customer service employee I’ve ever meet. And for Mr.Edelson your the only reason all of this was possible.
Thank you for allowing me to participate in this awesome event. My favorite part of this event was when we was making the calls with Mr. Arron, it was fun talking to Katy Perry and Pharell Willams. Please continue opening your doors and giving students like me a chance to grow. Thanks Mr.Edelson for this learning opportunity.
Thank you very much, =========== =============
Roderick Thomas ============
Thank you for allowing me to participate in the AWESOME event. My favorite part of this event was the Q&A session. Please continue opening your doors and giving students like me an opportunity to grow.
Mr.Edelson you are the BEST!!!! 🙂
Thank you for allowing me to participate in this GREAT field trip. My favorite part of this event is when we did those calls with Mr.Aaron with those characters “Katty Perry and Pharrell Williams ”. Thank you Mr .Edelson for making us come to Spelling city and those snacks in the morning. Please continue opening your doors and giving students like me a chance to grow and go on spelling city.
To everyone at Spelling City,
Thank you for allowing me to participate in this AWESOME field trip. My favorite part of this event was talking on the telephone. Mr.Aaron. please continue opening your doors and giving students like me a chance to grow. Thank you Mr. Edelson for the food and snack that you had provided us . Also, thanks for closing the business for the Super Coders.
Thank you Mr. Edelson and everyone that works at Vocabulary Spelling City for allowing me to participate in this MAGNIFICENT event . Also I want to thank for the wonderful lunch and snacks provided. My favorite part of this event was when we had to answer calls with Mr. Aaron from customers and help them solve their problems.Please continue allowing students to visit your company and allowing them to apply the skills learned in school to real world situations.
DeNorris Edwards Jr.
Thank you for working to make this event GREAT for us. My favorite part of this event was when we had saw the gentle man Mr. Rick who made Jojo the monkey move and change clothes. Please keep doing field trips for kids, this was a meaningful and fun experience. Also Thank you for everything including the snacks.
God Bless you Mr. Edelson and the Spelling City staff!
Thank you for allowing me to participate in this GREAT event. My favorite part of this event was when Mr Bertard showed us how to make the ice-cream using the various programs. I also enjoyed how Mr. Rick showed us how to make the different scenes…oh and the 3D animation . Looking back, I LOVED it all.
Thanks for opening your company to us .
Thank you ,
Thank you for allowing me to participate in this GREAT event.my favorite part of this event was when we answer the phones with Mr. Aaron. Please continue opening your doors and giving students like me a chance to grow. And thank you for giving us snacks and we really appreciate all you have done.
Thank you for allowing me to learn more about coding. My favorite part of this event was when we were answering phones to help customers solve any issues they may have had with the programming. Mr. Aaron really takes pride in helping customers and making sure they are happy. If I had money I would buy your program because everyone there is friendly and loves to help! Please continue opening your doors and giving students like me a chance to see what skills are needed in the real world.
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