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My CTE Internship Experience at Whiteclouds

By Josh Proulx, senior at Bonneville High School, Weber School District

Throughout my high school education, I have not participated in anything as life changing as the [Work-Based Learning] CTE Internship. I had a vague idea of what I wanted to do for my senior internship, but there were so many options—Smith Optics, Body Tune, Fresenius, UDOT, and the list goes on. At first, Smith Optics was high on my list, but then Mr. Meyer (Work-Based Learning Coordinator) called me one day asking if I wanted to checkout a brand new 3D design company called Whiteclouds. I was thrilled to hear of this as a possible outlook for my internship. Mr. Meyer and I set up a date to visit, but we had no idea what was in store. When I walked in the front door and into the showroom, I was blown away. Complex enigmatic mathematical objects surrounded by multicolored skulls upon intricate busts of video game characters and Steampunk creatures. I was absolutely perplexed by the grandeur of the space! At that very moment, I knew that this was the place.

A few days later I was formally listed as an Intern at Whiteclouds. My first day was not what I had anticipated. I arrived at 9:00 a.m. and was tasked with designing two parts. I reengineered both parts in 2 hours and showed them to my mentor, Jess. She was surprised with my capabilities and was happy to give me another assignment of equal or greater difficulty the following session. My very first product project was to reengineer another part. This part was much more difficult and complex. Once I finished with this product, I was informed that my part would be sold on the Whiteclouds website! Upon hearing this news Jess announced that I would be in charge of designing a series of Steampunk parts for Comic Con! Within a week of working at Whiteclouds I was given a product line of my own. My imagination ran free and I wrote down a list of items I could create. For inspiration, Jess introduced me to a website name “Thingiverse.” This website had so many gadgets and gizmos it was incomprehensible. I frequently visit this site now to find inspiration for my designs.

One of my favorite days was the day Jerry Ropelato, CEO of Whiteclouds, came in to establish a design methodology/design process. I contributed to the best of my ability and impressed Mr. Ropelato with a series of design process options. My background in engineering played a major role in my contributions to the methodology. Once we decided upon our structure and labels of each section the Whiteclouds Methodology was established. Mr. Meyer could not have found a better place for me to intern.

I have had an unbelievable time at Whiteclouds and can’t wait to go to Comic Con to show off our capabilities. If my fate keeps me in Utah, I hope to return to Whiteclouds with another perspective to 3D Printing, Prosthetic Development.

Related story:
Utah company wants to bring 3D printing to the masses
http://www.ksl.com/?sid=26843220

Work-Based Learning lets students see how classroom instruction connects to the world of work and future career opportunities. If you’re interested in participating in a CTE Internship talk to the Work-Based Learning Coordinator at your school.

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