When our Media Lab Specialist, Jon Shade, had the opportunity to tour Europe this summer, we were excited and supported him on his adventure. We did, however, have the small task of deciding who would run the Media Lab in his stead. Ultimately, we bestowed the challenge on two of our Inspiring Young Emerging Leaders (I-YEL) interns.
For nearly a month, high school interns Luciana and Nathaniel were mentored and trained by Jon in all the magic and madness of the Media Lab. Equipped with computers and video production software, the lab is an invaluable teaching tool. Participants in summer camp programs might make a stop-motion video or learn about climate change from a kid-friendly computer game. Luciana and Nathaniel coordinate all of these activities, ensuring that summer campers have a fun and educational camp session.
We’re well into the summer camp season and the Media Lab has been managed beautifully. Nathaniel says he was excited to take on the responsibility of the lab, joking that he was actually eager for “Jon to get out the door.” Nathaniel says the hardest part of the job has been working so closely with a partner.
“Working so intently with someone requires a lot of patience and respect,” he says. “I never want Luciana to feel like I don’t respect her opinion when we are deciding how to do things.”
Luciana expresses a similar sentiment. “I was worried about not getting along with Nathaniel because we’re working together so much,” she says. However, unlike Nathaniel, Luciana was worried about not having Jon’s guidance. “I felt like I needed his support and more training to feel confident but so many other staff gave me support in his absence.”
Both Luciana and Nathaniel agree that the best advice Jon gave them was to be confident and have fun. They each talk about how much fun it is educating kids. And if the educators are having fun, the kids are also having a blast!
The Crissy Field Center is committed to developing youth and having I-YEL interns manage the Media Lab is just one way we do that. The entire Crissy Field Center staff is proud of the work Luciana and Nathaniel have done this summer!