Making Things Happen: The CAIS Tech Team

January 6, 2021

CAIS Tech Team is an absolute team player and has changed the perceptions of what role students play at schools.

The Tech Team is a group of students working behind the scene with a ‘can do’ attitude to provide AV support for school-wide events.

It is an integral part of the school community and has been since the start of CAIS.

The idea was the brainchild of a group of students who decided to step up and throw their weight behind CAIS events, and hence the birth of CAIS Tech Team.

Launching as a small team of 10, CAIS Tech Team has gradually grown into an inclusive larger team of 30 this year, ranging from grades 7 to 12 students.

From assemblies, chapels, school carnival to high school camp, Back to School night, graduations, and band concerts, the CAIS Tech Team has been delightfully serving the school for three years and counting.

Students in the CAIS Tech Team learn valuable skills that help them even after they leave CAIS. And this isn’t restricted to the technical skills that they learn. They also learn other valuable skills such as working with others in a team, and for the older techs, the different planning steps involved in running an event. An important skill for them has been to meet after an event and debrief what worked well and what could be further improved upon. In return, many teachers show their appreciation to the students for the work they do for the school.

An interview with Mr Brunel Hamlett, IT Technician and CAIS Tech Team Supervisor

It is a very unique experience as I am able to work with different kinds of equipment. It’s a fun and hands-on learning experience!
Jane, Grade 12 student

How long has CAIS Tech Team been serving the school community?

The CAIS Tech Team was formed shortly after the start of CAIS and has since been serving the school.

What does your role involve?

I am an IT Technician. A large part of my job, initially, is to provide AV, logistical and event management support for the school.

I was presented with the opportunity to lead and grow the Tech Team – an idea initiated by a group of students themselves – which I willingly accepted.

Taking on additional responsibility means my job could be quite full at times. But it’s also a great opportunity for me as I can learn and engage with students who are willing to get involved in promoting school events through technical support.

My main responsibility as the Tech Team Supervisor is to provide technical training for students, guide the team to take on challenges, and strengthen their troubleshooting skills along the way.

How did the idea come about?

The group was initiated by the students themselves when they felt they needed more support with events. Initially there were only 10 students who volunteered to provide spontaneous AV support as events happened.

The students later realised the need to form an official group to better support the school in a more structured way, and hence the birth of CAIS Tech Team.

Tell us about your experience setting up the Tech Team? What were some of the challenges you experienced?

As mentioned, the Tech Team had few members. So, one of the challenges we faced was how do we get more students involved.

Activating students’ interest to join was a struggle initially. But when the school endorsed the Tech Team as an official extracurricular activity, students realized the impact and contribution that they could make in their capacity and more students felt inclined to give it a go.

It took hard work to give the team a structure in the beginning and we sometimes had to play it by ear due to the team size especially when unexpected situations occurred during events.

It’s really cool to do some behind the scenes work and it’s quite an experience. You also get to meet a lot of new people from other grades. It’s great to be a part of such an amazing team and being able to work alongside some very talented people.
Vanessa, Grade 10 student

Most memorable experience?

There are honestly too many to count. As we’ve had many successful events since we started, each event experience is unique and provides valuable lesson for us. We have 15+ events annually, big and small, in addition to the weekly chapels and student gatherings.

Most of our memorable moments happen when we manage to pull off events for the school as a small team and our hard work pays off! The sense of accomplishment is a good feeling shared among the team members.

This year when the pandemic hit and the usual graduation and award ceremonies were replaced with virtual celebrations, our team was put to the test and met the challenges head on!

Numerous meetings with the school’s senior leaders and teachers were hosted ahead of the ceremonies in order to deliver smooth virtual ceremonies with live streaming in place. The school community including students and parents counted on us to deliver a memorable experience for them and that was also what we wanted for the school community!

Where can we find the CAIS Tech Team?

Our home base is officially the lecture hall. Before and after school as well as duing lunch breaks are when many of us can be found. We have started our own unofficial tutoring system where seniors or older techs will help the younger techs during their lunch time. This has helped our team develop a strong bond between older and younger students. If you want to find us during an event, you can spot us as we are frantically working in the back in our black Tech Team shirts.

Why should students join?

Students should join not only because they will learn valuable technical skills, they will also learn transferrable skills such as communications and

problem-solving skills. The Tech Team builds students’ confidence and leadership skills. Students are encouraged to take ownership for their part in the team and be creative when it comes to challenges and unexpected situations.

These are skills that will serve them well in any career field.

Students will have the opportunity to work with a diverse student population. It’s amazing to see students develop strong bonds within their fellow team members.

Describe CAIS Tech Team in 3 words.

Challenging, rewarding, perseverance

Seeing the event turn out to be a success after long hours of planning, set-up and work makes all our hard work worthwhile. Being part of the process that turns the vision of an event into a reality is rewarding.
Tanya, Grade 12 student

What are some of the opportunities you’ve been afforded in CAIS that you may not have been offered elsewhere?

As an IT and AV technician, I’ve had the blessing of working with incredible staff, getting the chance to lead and grow an extraordinary team of students who have a genuine desire to serve the school community that I most likely would never have experienced had I chosen to work at other schools.

I am a huge advocate for placing yourself in situations to face new challenges. For me, the greatest experience and opportunity has been the personal development I’ve experienced from being asked to take on additional job responsibility and see the tech team able to perform independently.

Tech team is like Batman, we are wherever we are needed, behind the scenes.
Arthur, alumnus Class of 2017