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Sunday, January 07, 2007

A field trip to Google

[We often host visitors in Google offices. Just recently, as part of a Chamber of Commerce program, a group of Seattle-area high school students visited our Kirkland office. The point of such visits is to inspire teens to think about working in technology some day. Here's a firsthand report from Jenna Warman, a student at Lake Washington High School. - Editor.]

I had no idea there was a Google campus located in Kirkland, but recently 35 of us filed off the bus and into the large brown building. As the large metal doors slid open, we all fell out of the elevator and took in our very first sights of Google.

What I liked most about the Google building were the different Google Doodles all along the walls and the lava lamps in the reception area that were Google colors. Then we met some of the Google workers, who showed us their current projects they had been working on, such as Google Maps and Google Talk. I had never known about Google Talk or Gmail until then. After that they each grabbed a small group of kids and led us up and down the hallways showing us the different offices and mini kitchens. My tour guide explained that at Google the employees do not just sit in their offices all day -- they walk around and visit each other. The environment and atmosphere seemed warm, welcoming and friendly.

When the tours were finished we all piled into the reception area again and we all squished together to take a group photo so we could always remember our wonderful visit to Google. But wait, it did not end there -- we got back on the bus and were driven to Carillon Point where we would be eating lunch with many different people with many different and interesting jobs. We had the privilege to listen to Dr. Bonnie Dunbar talk about her exhilarating adventures up into outer space and the Museum of Flight. Listening to this amazing and courageous woman explain about the different experiences she had in space, about the telescope they were working on the space station, it kind of made me want to become an astronaut.

After that, it was time to go back to school and brag about what an amazing opportunity we'd gotten, and all of the wonderful things we saw and learned about at the Google campus. The last thing that I have to say is thank you to all of the people that gave me this wonderful opportunity. I hope other young students will be able to experience something like this during their high school career. [more]


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