A Velocity Facilitator’s Perspective: Alyssa Studer

This is a guest blog post by Alyssa Studer, a Velocity program facilitator for Summer 2016. In the Velocity program, a group of 20 high school students form a consulting company, and work with an industry client to develop a solution to a real-world problem. The group of students Alyssa just worked with developed a web application to help WP Engine track the health of their servers. 

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Self-motivated, hardworking, enthusiastic, and collaborative. These are all adjectives that describe the incredible group of students I was fortunate to work with over the past four weeks at Hays High School. I have been teaching high school chemistry for the past two years. Although I am still very new to the field, I have yet to encounter a group of students like the group I just finished working with. Their ability to problem solve, work collaboratively, and teach themselves skills necessary for the greater good of their project, was something I have yet to witness in students their age. What amazed me the most about this particular group of students was their ability to get to know one another’s strengths and weaknesses so quickly and then in knowing this information, integrate each student’s strengths into the project where the group as a whole would benefit the most. I think the incredible amount of learning and great success each student achieved during this four-week internship is testimony to the benefits of a project-based learning environment for students.

Velocity-HaysObserving these students for four weeks (because really I did not have to do as much facilitating as I had anticipated) has been a true learning experience for me; a learning experience that will help me in improving my teaching abilities in the classroom next year as I continue teaching STEM courses at the high school level. Furthermore, having the opportunity to finally take part in a completely immersive project-based learning setting has inspired me to integrate project-based learning components into my own classroom more frequently.

If you’re interested in getting involved with our Velocity program, email us at And stay tuned throughout the summer for more updates on Velocity projects!