Year 10 student Amber spent a week at Primo Toys on a work experience placement, under the warm tutelage of our web developer and qualified teacher Melenie. Here’s Amber’s verdict on her experience at an edtech startup!
During Year 10 in my school we have to find work experience for one week. I was able to get a place at Primo Toys, and this blog post is here to tell you about what I learnt from my time at the company and what different people taught me.
During the week one of the jobs I was given was sorting out information about the ‘Lesson Plans’ the company offers to teachers so that they can be improved. I love sorting out data so it was fun to find all the missing information and put it in the right place.
MailChimp is a tool that enables you make emails and design them. I created a template during the week, which was rather interesting to do. This gave me a insight to how complex it can be to code.
Illustrator is a tool for design. During the week I learned how to remove colour, marge shapes, edit, and a little more. I really enjoyed learning how to use Illustrator as I probably won’t get the chance to in school.
When at Primo Toys I found out how difficult coding was and how something simple (like a email) had a lot of thought behind it. I personally knew coding wasn’t easy but seeing how it really looks is shocking. This is because of the many different tag types, from <p> (paragraph) to <a href=’Link‘></a>. Below is an example of a piece of code I wrote, which is good example of a computer ‘language.’
During the start of the week Primo Toys had a Kickstarter campaign running, so during the time I was with them I learnt more about the crowdfunding platform and why it is important. Kickstarter is a way to raise funds, especially for startup companies. Kickstarter has feature called ‘stretch goals’ which helps motivate people to back certain products because they will get special rewards from doing so. A stretch goal is based on a funding target set by a company; when the target amount is received, backers receive a free reward.
Illustrator is an art and design program. This program is very complex, and some of the skills I picked up on include overlapping, outlining and selecting/merging. With Illustrator each shape you have makes a layer. If you have a square and a circle, with the circle on top, you need to remember not to move the square on top of the circle. If you do this the circle will disappear behind the square. When outlining you need to work out colour, thickness, colours on the inside and so on. This can be easy, like for a tree. The trunk can be thicker then the rest of the tree. Finally when selecting what you want you need to remember to press ‘shift‘ so you can click multiple boxes. Out of everything I did this was one of the things I enjoyed the most because of how engaging it was. It forced me to pick up little details and concentrate, which I found really enjoyable.
Here is an example of a project before and after editing it in Illustrator. In this we removed the colour so that the picture could be printed for children to colour in themselves.
Cubetto was designed to help 3-6 year olds to learn coding. Cubetto goes about learning a little differently then most other learning tools because it is aimed at a younger audience. So Cubetto was designed for ‘learning through play’, which is exactly as it sounds. Some of the areas it helps in are maths and English, both very important for school.
The Work Office
When at the office I was surprised at how friendly everyone was and how they where willing to help or explain questions, even asking if I had any to clear up confusion. I tend to understand things very quickly but to know that the option of help was there if needed was very relaxing and helped me to not feel like a outsider.
One of the things I noticed was how people tended to have multiple jobs/titles. Everyone had a job but those jobs tended to overlap with each over. I think it’s good that I got to see this, because in school they tend to say everything is separate, so later in life I wouldn’t have known how to react when seeing this.
Overall I had a very fun and interesting time at Primo Toys, learning new skills and being in a new environment taught me a lot about the ‘real’ world.