FEATURING GILLIAN BRAUN & LILY NIELSEN OF DOWNERS
Gillian Braun of Downers Grove North High School (DGN) says technology is the future, and with the ever expanding need for code for things like data analysis, engineering, even artistry and design, people are seeing an ever expanding need for code across fields, opening up opportunities for young people to explore their passion in a variety of ways.
“There are many jobs that you can go into if you are interested in technology,” Lily Nielsen says. She also attends DGN and is a member of the DGN Women in STEM Club with Gillian. “You could work for a tech company like Google or Amazon, go into computer programming or computer security and work on keeping companies online information safe.”
The opportunities to explore different types of technology are abundant. In their STEM Club they work on all sorts of projects and activities throughout the year to help encourage young women to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math. Next year they will be working with an organization called Girls Who Code to encourage young women to pursue their interests in computer coding and technology.
“For something a little bit more specialized, there is the option to work on lighting, sound, and stage mechanics for the school’s plays, musicals, and concerts,” Lily says. “North also has their own radio station, and in the WDGC Radio Club, students can learn how to use real radio equipment, and even DJing if that’s something you are interested in.”
Picking out a computer to practice all your tech skills is a continued debate of Mac v. PC. “Both computers will definitely last you through an undergraduate degree, and both have pros and cons,” Lily says. “It ultimately comes down to comfort with the hardware and software used, and of course, the price tag as Macs tend to be more expensive than PCs.”
In the end of course, Gillian says teens still love their apps. They still use the popular social apps like Instagram, Snapchat, GroupMe, and Twitter, because they are fast and easy ways for teens to stay connected; but also love Buzzfeed, Netflix, Hulu, and Spotify for music and movies. But beyond the fun apps, teens are using them for homework. Lily loves Quizlet for flashcards and DESMOS so she can input any function and get an accurate graph to use to help solve problems. –Kristen Kucharski