Partners in Programming

High School Senior, IdeaBase Staffers Collaborate on Projects

Callie Mo is no ordinary high school senior. In addition to her coursework, she is designing a website and interning at IdeaBase, Kent State University’s student-powered design agency specializing in graphic design, web design, usability, branding, video and advertising.

Mo attends Bio-Med, a new lottery-based science, technology, engineering, math and medical high school in Rootstown, Ohio. The school focuses on collaborative learning and offers a variety of experiential opportunities, including study abroad and internships, for its students.

“Originally, I didn’t want to go to Bio-Med,” Mo said. “Sophomore year, we took an intro to programming class where we did HTML, CSS and other programming things. […] I really love coding. It makes sense to me. I really like how code works, and I love it when I can make it do what I want it to do. I like figuring out programs.”

Once she discovered her love for programming, she knew she wanted her senior projects to focus on web design. Mo is currently completing three senior projects, one of which is her internship at IdeaBase and one of which is a project with five other Bio-Med students.

“We’re creating a web app/website to help future Bio-Med students learn how to use their computers more efficiently,” Mo said. “It’s a lot of fun. It’s a lot of work.”

IdeaBase user experience designers have mentored Mo throughout her internship and helped her with her projects.

“I really like being here because I think the atmosphere is so fun,” Mo said. “They’re so willing to help; it’s amazing. Bio-Med has always been really big on collaboration and community, but being here has opened my eyes to what it’s like to collaborate in a workplace and not just in high school.”

Mo has also attended several of CCI Interactive Designer and Developer Chris Hallahan’s Responsive Web Design classes.

“I went to his classes, and that has helped a lot,” Mo said. “It connects back to school because the ideas I get from his class, I can talk to my technology teacher about and teach the sophomores who are taking programming now. I think that’s really cool.”

Mo’s teachers at Bio-Med were so impressed with her knowledge about programming and web design, she was invited to teach a class.

“She went into Chris’ class – saw an exercise he did in class – and went and taught it,” Kristin Dowling, director of IdeaBase, said. “She’s putting things into action that she’s seeing here at IdeaBase. It’s a blast. She’s so smart and energetic.”

Dowling said the staff at IdeaBase had to go through hours of special training to have high school students working at the agency.

“I was somewhat skeptical at first about how college juniors and seniors would interact with high school seniors, but it turned out to be a wonderful mentoring opportunity for our collaborative teams,” Dowling said. “Now, I’m really glad that we do it. It is a lot of work, but it’s an important mentorship opportunity. It gives us the opportunity to give back. And they are brilliant students. We’re learning as much from them as they say they’re learning from us. It’s a great opportunity for us. It’s so fun.”

Learn more about IdeaBase and its projects at

POSTED: Thursday, January 26, 2017 04:57 PM
Updated: Saturday, April 01, 2023 07:39 PM
Meghan Caprez