Students visit Google, Sony

By David Arkow ‘20
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Students explore Google. Credit: David Arkow ’20/SPECTRUM

Middle school programming students took field trips to Google LA and Sony Pictures. 38 students went to the Google campus in Venice on Jan. 12. The attendants listened to Google software engineers: Jason Beyer ‘00,  Steve Schwartz and Tammy McLeod give a presentation about their jobs, work projects and the Google offices. After the presentation, students were split into groups and were given a tour led by the Google staff. Students saw the different sections of Google LA including the offices, smoothie bar, cafeteria, gym, game room and more.

Following this, programming students attended another field trip to Sony Pictures in Culver City on Jan. 17, a day off from school. The trip was organized by programming teacher Jessica Kaufman along with the President of Sony Pictures Television, Zack Van Amburg ‘88, P‘20. The visit included a tour inside the animation and story design department by Sony employees. Students were then taught the basics of 3D animation and how to design a story on screen.

“The Sony trip showed me what the future of programming could lead to and what career path I could go down. It showed me what I could do if I took a computer science career,” programming student Will Liu ‘20 said.

Students also visited the filming and sound effect-studio, where they saw the the stages for “Wheel of Fortune”, “Jeopardy!” and a live filming of “The Goldbergs”. They said that one of their favorite parts of the Sony trip was when they used virtual reality headsets.

“I think that it is very inspiring to see what people do. For Sony, we got to see how cutting edge technology impacts entertainment and then at Google we got to see how technology impacts advertising. It is neat to see what kinds of applications there are for technology,” Kaufman said.

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