Alumni Share Insights During Computer Science Week

On December 5, alumni Alex Kerney '03 and Lauren Zion '06 spoke with Upper School students via Google Hangouts about their experiences in high technology fields. The conversation was part of Computer Science Education Week 2018, during which all Shore students participated in the Hour of Code, a worldwide effort that engages more than 600 million students and educators in celebrating computer science.

Kerney is a web application developer with the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, an organization dedicated to providing scientific data about the abundant marine life and nutrient-rich waters that are part of the unique Gulf of Maine marine ecosystem. The Institute offers thousands of students learning opportunities in the lab, in the field, and online, engaging them with the region's rich natural resources and the local scientific community. The organization also partners with local fishermen and coastal communities to support the vital seafood industry while encouraging sustainability.

Zion is Vice President of Revenue Operations for LiveIntent, a New York City-based advertising technology company that enables major brands and publishers such as the New York Times to reach their customers with targeted marketing messages in e-mail. In her role she guides implementation and troubleshooting of critical internal systems that affect everything from product functionality to the networking technology that connects LiveIntent's offices.

Technology Integration Specialist Jill Codding moderated the online discussion in the Trustey Family Theatre. Kerney and Zion spoke with Upper School students about their work and the relevance of computer science education, and they answered questions from the audience about coding languages and other details of their jobs.

The alumni also talked about their journey from Shore to the world of high tech. Kerney studied geomorphology and geophysics at Colorado College, and he spent some time working on a research vessel in the Patagonian fjords. Earlier in his career, Kerney worked in boarding schools doing both system administration and teaching programming; he also has led wilderness trips for Chewonki and other organizations around Maine. Zion earned a B.A. in mathematical sciences and biology at Colby College before joining LiveIntent in her first post-college job. 

The online conversation with Kerney and Zion was just one of the activities planned by Jill Codding and Shore's Tech Team during Computer Science Education Week. Elsewhere, students enjoyed robot bowling and other lawn games with BeeBots, programming Sphero robots to navigate a space, tackling coding challenges on the computer, creating a dance party using code blocks, interactive technology quizzes, and much more. 
    • Pre-K students programmed BeeBots during the Hour of Code.

    • Jill Codding introduced the alumni in the Trustey Family Theatre.

    • Lauren Zion

    • Alex Kerney

    • Codding explained BeeBots to Pre-K students.