My Internship Experience

July 28th, 2016 by Annie Polashock

The most interesting moment of my internship was when my group and I had gone outside to test our RGB LED light. We had been working on the code to convert the voltage of the UV sensor was reading to UV intensity, and then ultimately, to UV index. We had tried multiple times to get the light to work. Brooke and I had spent a lot of time testing different colors and combinations of light in the women’s public restroom with the lights off. Don’t worry… we kept it rated G. We even went outside many times. We were beyond frustrated. When we finally came up with a range in our code that was accurate, programmed the arduino, and saw the colors change immediately outside, even between direct sun and overcast, it was an amazing feeling. We had done it! We had completed our hardest challenge!

In my internship, we worked with our group to design a wearable device that would comply with the One Health Initiative– the idea that plants, animals, humans, and their environments are all connected. We used the Engineering Design Process to solve a One Health problem, in my group’s case, it was skin cancer in animals and humans. We had various workshops at the DH Hill Library’s Maker Space learning how to use the Arduino code and making sure we know how circuits work. We had various NC State professors throughout the Centennial Campus teach us about semiconductors, clean rooms, graphing 3D trajectories, looking at Cockroaches wearing sensors for search and rescue during natural disasters, and solar panels and cells. We got to tour the Analytical Instrumentation Facility, the Textiles Department, and Porticos– a business that works with the ASSIST Center on making devices. We wrote, edited, and edited lesson plans. We had to present our prototypes at different stages to Dr. Jur, get feedback, and revise, revise, and revise some more.

Dr. Veety and Dr. Jur of the ASSIST Center were amazing. It opened my eyes to how textiles are such an integral part of our future. It also showed me how engineers work in the field, and it made me realize that every student in my classroom could be an engineer. I know they will not all want to be, but it’s such a fascinating field that constantly keeps you on your toes.

My biggest takeaway was that there are so many opportunities for my students nearby. It is all about finding them and tapping into them. I know I will definitely be tapping into the ASSIST Center and NC State throughout this school year and beyond.

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