Poly’s Second Annual Afternoon of Technology

Brianna Sylvain, Middle School Editor

Over the course of this year, Poly’s administration has taken strides to expand Poly’s culture and bring new aspects of art, Brooklyn, and most recently STEM into the daily lives of students. One of Poly’s most recent moves toward this was on March 4, when Poly held its second annual Afternoon of Technology. 

The Afternoon of Technology was an afternoon dedicated to celebrating technological advancements in and out of Poly. The event featured a talk given by keynote speaker, Erica Lorraine, who specializes in design incorporating Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), which is a method of medical imaging used in radiology to scan and diagnose patients, and augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), which is an immersive technology that creates virtual interactive environments for users. Following Lorraine’s talk was a technology showcase organized by Poly’s computer science department. There were several booths each with a different activity relating to tech, including binary bracelet making, laser cutting, 3D printing, and a Mario Kart tournament.


Events like the Afternoon of Technology are just some of the many strides that the computer science department and Poly administration are taking to make STEM a more significant part of Poly’s culture. Co-captain of the Robotics Team, Senior Tesvara Jiang, said that “events like the Afternoon of Tech expose people to various spaces within the technology field… Even as I walked around the room, I learned so many new things about my peers’ interests by sampling different workshops. Afternoon of Tech is a great way for students to find new interests and grow their understanding of how technology can be applied in real life.” 

A member of the Robotics Team, eighth grader Leo Cheng, said, “It is important to have events like Day of Tech in order to garner interest in tech in the Poly community. Tech has so many incredible opportunities for students and is changing the world around us. Education and events that garner interest in tech will help students in Poly be able to seize these opportunities.” 

Even as Poly attempts to integrate more STEM into the everyday lives of students, some students feel that the school can do even more. Jiang said that she does not “think Poly focuses on Tech enough, but they have made improvements. When I first came to Poly, there were few CS courses available and many students did not take CS until their junior year. Now the CS department [has] created a 4-year track for CS, and most students take a semester of CS in their freshman year. However, within each year, students would still benefit from additional options.” 

 A lack of electives and classes revolving around STEM also affects middle school in middle school. Cheng said, “Tech and computer science are not very present in middle school. The Robotics team has only started allowing middle schoolers to join this year and there are not really any computer science classes offered until 9th grade. Learning programming languages early on is very important because like any other language the earlier you get started the easier it is to learn. I think it would be very beneficial if more [CS] classes were offered in middle school because the world has more robots than ever.” 

Computer Science Teacher and Co-advisor of the Robotics Team Kristin Guynn said in an email to the Polygon, “Tech has been a large agenda item at Poly for a while now… the conversation around technology and what it looks like to pursue Tech education specifically at Poly has been ongoing.”

“We are always looking to improve the STEM opportunities here at Poly,” she wrote.  “And thankfully, we continue to receive support and encouragement to pursue those endeavors.”