The air crackled with curiosity as dozens of young ladies were introduced to the fascinating world of fiber optic technology at the first Girls in Future Technologies (GIFT) Day hosted by the Women of AT&T Puerto Rico/USVI chapter on Saturday, October 20, 2018 at the UVI Sports & Fitness Center.
viNGN Lead Field Technician for St. Thomas, Celestino White was joined by St. Croix Field Technician Ellisha Williams in a mini-seminar on the history of fiber optic technology, including a live demonstration of light traveling through a stream of water (from a concept shared by 19th century physicist John Tyndall called total internal reflection).
This experiment in physics provided the scientific basis of fiber optic technology. The U.S. Virgin Islands are now home to the nation’s only 100% fully interconnected fiber optic network, the Virgin Islands Next Generation Network (viNGN). And, Dr. Peter C. Schultz, one of the co-inventors of fiber optics, currently serves as Secretary of the Board of Directors of viNGN.
The students learned how data travels over very long distances due to the resiliency of these thin strands of glass (and their resistance to the elements and temperature changes). There was a fusion splicing demonstration showing both poor and excellent results – accurate splicing ensures the integrity of network and internet connections to support home, office, cellular, Wi-Fi and streaming communications.
All students received gift packages including tech gadgets for the digital age such as portable power packs, security shields for device cameras, and USB flash drives pre-loaded with the 7-minute NetSmarz video “6 Degrees of Information”, an instructional film on safeguarding personal information while online.
Also present on behalf of viNGN were System Administrator Latesha Isaac, Special Projects Coordinator/Public Relations Officer Pamela Finley, and PCC Manager Anita Davis. We are grateful to the Women of AT&T for inviting us to be a part of sharing the world of fiber optics with the next generation!
- Follow Women of AT&T PR/USVI on Facebook
- View “6 Degrees of Information” and find free online safety resources, on viNGN’s Family Internet Safety page