Community Leadership Internship – Introduction

By: Tony Robol

My name is Tony Robol, and I am a sophomore at the University of Pittsburgh. This past summer, I engaged in a Community Research Fellowship where I designed a 46-page manual to instruct high schoolers in the field of data science and hopefully enhance their projects within the DataJam competition. The DataJam is an annual competition for high school students focusing of providing exposure to the expanding field of data science at a young age. However, over the summer we were not able to obtain much feedback from the users themselves, the high schoolers. As end-user feedback is extremely important in creating a valuable resource, my community partner, the Pittsburgh DataWorks, and I seek to obtain this feedback this fall when students are more attentive to their projects and email.

The area I am working in is the exact same as my Community Research Fellowship, but I am simply refining and polishing the work that I did over the summer. With the writing of the manual already finished, my Community Leadership Internship will build off of what I have already put together over the summer, using student, mentor, and advisor feedback to create a more effective resource for the high school students.

Over this internship, I hope to understand how my manual is assisting high school students with their projects, and how it can be better written to improve high schoolers’ understanding and use of it. Although I conducted my own Data Jam project over the summer to empathize with what the high school students undertake during the academic year, I likely have a different level of understanding than the high school students, who are a few years of education behind me. As such, the student feedback will be invaluable to me in tailoring the content of the manual to their greatest understanding.

I am currently majoring in Industrial Engineering with intended minors in economics and applied statistics. A fun fact about me is that I am in the Pitt Band, and play baritone!

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