The Oyster River Internship Program – Intro to Hardware

Choosing a career path before college can be a scary process. The UNH-IOL partners with Oyster River High School to hold an internship program for students to receive school credit. This program helps high school students explore the wide scope of technical fields before committing to a major. Along with providing students with guidance towards their preferred academic field, the program allows the students to put their foot in the door and gain valuable experience before diving into academia. "Learning from my internship gave me an advantage and allowed me to excel in college courses" - Jeremy Plsek (former summer UNH-IOL intern). Jeremy was a high school intern when he started with the UNH Interoperability Lab. Since completing the internship program, he has gone on to becoming an employee, and a beneficial asset to our consortium. Jeremy is also taking courses in Computer Science at UNH which reflects his skills to and from the workplace.

The main goal of the Internship is to provide our students with a generic understanding and practices in the hardware, software and networking industries. This year’s Oyster River Intern, Cameron is currently a senior at Oyster River high school with interest in technology. Cameron was previously a summer intern and has returned back the UNH-IOL for the school internship program. For two days a week (2.5 hours each day), Cameron visits the lab and participates in hands on learning activities.

This year the UNH-IOL created a more formalized program for the Oyster River Interns. This program is broken up into three phases. The first phase of the internship program delved into networking concepts, spanning from a small network, to an enterprise level system. Once Cameron was caught up to speed on LAN vs. WAN technologies, subnet strategies and IP routing technologies, we started to apply each of these concepts in real world scenarios. Some examples of activities include setting up a media server and a media client on a Raspberry Pi, and configuring a network both statically and dynamically (For those who don't know, a Raspberry Pi is a microcomputer running a Debian Linux distribution). Throughout the process, Cameron was introduced to network analyzing software like Wireshark, where we traced the TCP packets and learned more about the process and requirements for these types of interactions to work. The next project in the networking section was to interact with the Raspberry Pi using its GPIO interface. Cameron hooked up touch sensors on a breadboard, and wrote Python code to interact with different applications. These applications included building a drum set, with touch sensors hooked up to apples that triggered certain .wav formatted sounds. As a transition to the next phase, software, Cameron also used these touch sensors to interact with a Minecraft public API, to build his own Minecraft controller as well as learn how to write his own mods for a program.

Cameron has finished up the networking phase and will be starting the second phase next week. The software subsection is designed to teach him about programming languages, software strategies and debugging. Using his previously learned networking knowledge, Cameron will be asked to write a chat service program in Python. This program will be built using the command line interface, then progress to using a Graphical User Interface. Once the initial task of getting two Raspberry Pi devices to communicate, he will then be asked to transform the program to allow for a dynamic amount of people. This lesson will teach Cameron more about servers, and how to interact from the client and server side to negotiate these tasks.

The final phase deals with the Hardware side of technology. Cameron will be asked to program musical notes using their frequencies into a Raspberry Pi. Using the GPIO pins, Cameron will use a ribbon cable to attach the Pi to a breadboard. From the breadboard, he will build a circuit that will act as a sound amplifier. Through the process he will use a multimeter to measure the voltage, resistance and current as well as an oscilloscope to measure the electrical frequencies.

Stay tuned, for the next blog where we will talk about how the program is progressing as well as a write up from our intern Cameron.

If your school is interested in taking part in this program, please contact Samantha Martell, Marketing and Communications Coordinator.