Strategy of Things Smart City Internship

The Strategy of Things Smart City Internship program introduces high school students with an interest in STEM careers to urban innovation and smart cities. The eight week internship is conducted in partnership with PilotCity, a San Leandro based innovation incubator that brings high school students from the community and employers together to work on real world pilot projects.

The Strategy of Things smart city internship program is designed with three main goals:

  • Introduce students to smart cities and generate interest and excitement in urban innovation
  • Develop a local pipeline of future smart city talent that Strategy of Things can access
  • Reinforce student interest in and preparation for STEM careers

Smart city interns learn about the fundamentals of smart cities, urban innovation, design thinking, and product development methodologies. This knowledge is reinforced through a hands-on team project where the interns design, build, and test a prototype concept solution that addresses a typical smart city problem. In addition, the interns receive mentoring and coaching to prepare them for success in their future STEM careers.

For the summer of 2022, the intern project will be focused on the Metaverse. There is a lot of interest and buzz being generated around this topic. Our interns will be investigating the current and future opportunities that can be created for cities and their residents.

In 2021, the intern project focused on developing a smart city portal prototype. The smart city interns collected requirements from key municipal and community members, and reviewed current smart city portals in use. Special emphasis was placed on user experience, inclusion and relevance.

Internship Feedback

I have had an interest in coding since I was in elementary school and because of Strategy of Thing’s innovative way of advancing society, I was interested in taking up the challenge. Even though I had absolutely no “proper” knowledge in coding, I wanted to gain knowledge and experience. This internship has been amazing as I was able to gain very useful knowledge about coding while also making some friends.

Emily Nguyen, Arroyo High School


In my group, we're creating a web app for smart cities that encourages discussion and citizen engagement on a social media-like platform. It's so cool seeing how to create the app from a coding standpoint, but also its design and how to adjust the user experience based on users' and cities' needs, like incentive systems and accessibility. The best part of the internship has definitely been being able to meet and work with some awesome people and having the opportunity to collaborate together! I've learned a ton - not just in technical, programming skills, but also in working with others and building synergy and trust.

Samuel T., Elk Grove High School

We chose Strategy of Things because we were interested in
making a difference in our community and learning a ton of new things about making software!  My team and I built Communify, a website where we create a more constructive and innovative community by utilizing the proposals of citizens.  So far, I’ve learned so much about user experience and design!  The team at Strategy of Things really puts emphasis on user experience and making sure that their products are usable by everyone in the community.  I have had so much fun building my project over the summer and working with Strategy of Things to make it happen!
Holland Pleskac, Mountain House High School

This experience allowed me to understand that the real world isn't as simple 
as what schools teach us to be. There are many complexities, challenges, and stakeholders that must be considered and overcome on any given project. The Strategy of Things team was very supportive & provided quality guidance through every part of the internship, and was huge steppingstone in my professional development.

Vishnu Nair, Mission San Jose High School

PilotCity is on a mission to build an engine for innovation for cities with the
locals from those communities. Throughout our partnership, it has been a positive confluence of forces with Strategy of Things and a rewarding experience for the students. Together we work to enable our youngest citizens and members of our communities to build the future of our cities through the convergence of tech and social impact.
Derick Lee, CEO, PilotCIty

Want to Learn More?

Have questions or want to discuss our learnings and progress from our 2021 smart city internship? Are you interested in being part of the internship program? Please feel free to reach out to us. We're always happy to share knowledge and exchange ideas.