Milford students get technical tips at Microsoft

Some tech-savvy Milford students recently had the opportunity to augment their classroom experiences with a trip to the Microsoft Technology Center in Times Square. This year, 24 students plus their chaperones from Foran and Law high schools participated in the trip, hosted by the Milford Technology Advisory Council.

The trip was initiated by the Milford Technology Advisory Council years ago with the intention of being informative and inspirational for students considering computer science or technology-related paths beyond high school.

Designed as an opportunity to see real-world technology projects in development, the program also gives students the chance to hear real life perspective and advice from professionals.

Organizers said the subject matter and format was in direct alignment with the school system’s new computer science career pathway.

The agenda included demonstrations where students were able to meet with Microsoft employees and learn about some of the cool new products in its research and development pipeline.

The youths got advice from, and posed questions to, a panel of technology professionals that included local technology enthusiast and entrepreneur Rob Hoxie, as well as computer science teachers Caitlin Corriveau and Aaron Czarnecki among others.

Educators and students got a glimpse into the Microsoft YouthSpark program, described as “a global initiative to increase access for all youth to learn computer science, empowering them to achieve more for themselves, their families and their communities.”

In addition to a tour of key parts of the facility, the visitors were able to interact with different devices and applications to experience current trends like augmented reality, machine learning, data interpretation plus collaborative work and communication tools.

Jonathan Law student Dennis Sweeney said, “I loved seeing all the projects the Microsoft team was working on, including augmented reality. It has only strengthened my interest in the computer science field.”

Lunch was provided by the Milford Education Foundation as co-sponsor, and The Kiwanis Club of Milford funded the train tickets for students and their chaperones so there were no out-of-pocket expenses.

“In addition to the recent curriculum pathway initiatives implemented by the school district, we are very fortunate to have such great community-oriented organizations and volunteers who support us in making experiences like this possible for young people in Milford,” said Dan Rascoll, who serves as the chairperson of the the Milford Technology Advisory Council and is a board member on the Milford Education Foundation.