This is part 2 of “Schools in Menlo Park”. Read that before this one.

In that post, I noted that I presented to Mid-Peninsula - I expand on it here.


As mentioned before, Mid-Peninsula High School is adjacent to my office at Facebook in Willow Campus.

My favorite part of working at FB is mentoring the interns - I thought, how can I get more of that? Tutoring kids nearby is the next best thing.

I emailed Mid-Peninsula to see if they’re up for me doing code tutoring for 2 hours a week. They just happened to be in “tech week” during their winter break. The vice-principal responded that instead of tutoring, maybe I can just give a talk to the kids?

So I did. For tech week, they went on trips to Google, the Computer History Museum, and some other things. Then, on 1/9/2020, they had me! I had the whole day!

How The Internet Works

I decided to give a talk on “How The Internet Works”. It’s just a very high-level explanation of how browser ↔️ server interaction works.

I remember how weak my understanding was of internet architecture at that age - so this seemed like a good topic.

The best part was that I got to open with “hacking”. I pulled up, went to buy an iPhone, then changed the price to $0. I told all the students to rush to the page to get the iPhone for free also. Then we talked about why it showed free for me, but not them. You should at least watch till that part.

I streamed almost all of my talk using Portal. Which you can see here (also check out comments):

I also recorded from my iPad - giving a different view at higher resolution, with a static shot.

Here are the slides I used. I’m a big believer that slides should have little to no text, so they are fairly bare.

The videos end when we break for lunch. After lunch, I showed them how they can make their own public web page.

We used Site44 + Dropbox to make uploading the web page super easy. They all uploaded to my Dropbox, which was connected to Site44.

They felt the power of publishing immediately. Even better, they were viewing source on other’s pages as they figured out new HTML (change background color, add GIF, etc.).

Sadly, I turned these pages off, which I regret. I don’t have records of them. ☹

Very Nice

Overall, it was a total success. I was there from 11AM - 2PM and we were making changes until the very last minute. They loved it. It was awesome.