Colonial Baptist church
Internal success story describing how students from Athens Drive High School installed Cisco IP phones and voicemail at a mega church. Students were taught basic IP Telephony in their Network Academy classroom, then successfully installed a real-world, integrated voice & data network.
Colonial Baptist church is situated on a large, multi-building campus located in Cary, North Carolina.
The church, gifted with a new Cisco IP voice phone system & data network, needed to have it installed.
Students in Cisco's Network Academy (CNA) program at Athens Drive High School in Raleigh NC were just finishing the last semester of their 4 semester program. They needed a real-world networking project to complete the class.
I helped start the CNA program at Athens and knew the instructor (Bill) quite well. Even thought the program was only about learning data networking, I asked Bill if he'd like me to teach the students about voice/video/data network services. He agreed.
I contacted the Cisco employee who was donating the new voice & data network to the church. I asked if it would be OK if I mentored the students on the technology & had them do the installation. Both he & the church - in a huge vote of confidence - said "Great, do it!"
Tools & resources
Wireshark network analyzer
For several weeks I came to the CNA classroom at Athens & taught the students about how IP telephony worked and how to build the network. All enjoyed the material, but two students excelled at it. Zach & Chris became the team leads for the network install.
I also took the students on a field trip out to Cisco & got them access to one of the large test labs - the Product Design & Verification Center (PDVC) - on the Cisco RTP campus. We even had pizza after the tour.
The installation went extremely well, very few problems. The students configured the data network switches, attached fiber & Cat5 cables, and I helped out with the voicemail installation (it was a little tricky). The students tested & debugged the few problems we had, and when we were finished the church was extremely pleased.
News of the project got around to some folks in Cisco and they wrote up an internal success story.
Photos from the training, field trip, & installation are shown below; so is the Cisco success story.