To many Andover High School students “The Portal” is just the website that displays all your grades and information, usually referred to as Aspen. But to others “The Portal” is a box that connects you to the rest of the world. 

portal
The Portal, once at the Cormier Youth Center, has since been relocated to the AHS Media Center. (Photo by Kate Kiladis)

The week of March 1st, the Andover Coalition for Education (ACE) organization and a group of town leaders came to the Cormier Youth Center to set up an enormous inflatable golden box that lets you communicate with people around the world.

The town of Andover is the first public school district in the United States to have a portal. “It is a great opportunity to create a community and establish a connection with other people in different countries,” explained the director of ACE, Jennifer Srivastava. That is all possible by entering this golden box and meeting face to face with a person across the world through a screen.

The portal is not just staying at the youth center; since it is inflatable it can be moved to many different places, and it already has been set up in the AHS Media Center.

“It is able to deflate within an hour and when it is moved to the area we want it in, we can inflate it again,” Srivastava says. “The Portal will spend the majority of time at the high school, but then it will move to all schools in the Andover District.”  

It is a chance for students in Andover Public Schools to try it out and talk to other students across the world. While it is at Andover High School, teachers can sign up and bring their classes down to the library and chat with other students across the world.

Global Engagements students were the first Andover High School students to try it out at the Cormier Youth Center. “I thought that the experience in the portal was really cool.” Katelyn Kendrigan, a Global Engagements student, said after she met face to face with a student from Mexico City. “It was really nice to have a human connection with other people and it felt very similar to having a face-to-face conversation. I think that this will really help educate people about different cultures and help connect people from different parts of the world.” It really is exactly like a face to face connection, you can hear what they say very clearly with no glitch, you can see their full body as if you were standing right infront of them, and they can hear you very clearly.

By Kate Kiladis