Poky High senior interns at INL, writes bills and builds self-sharing servers - East Idaho News
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Poky High senior interns at INL, writes bills and builds self-sharing servers

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POCATELLO — Elijah Buchanan is a senior at Pocatello High School. He is a member of the speech and debate team who spent the summer interning at INL, assisting in the development of a tutorial hosting website.

Buchanan said he took the debate class as his speech credit to “get it out of the way” his freshman year. But he never left.

“I just fell in love with it — I fell in love with the culture we’ve got here in Poky, he said. “I try to put a lot of work towards not just competing but mentoring other students.”

As Buchanan explained, researching for debates is his favorite aspect of competing with the debate team. He truly enjoys the wide range of topics he gets to dive into.

“You can, kind of, research anything. Although, if it’s crazy or dumb enough, you’ll probably get some weird looks,” he said. “You just research a ton of things, and that’s my favorite part.”

As for the actual competitions, Buchanan prefers congressional debates — in which students, acting as congress, defend and attack pieces of student-written legislation. There are rules, though. For starters, bills are limited to a single page — as opposed to actual legislations, which can often span thousands of pages.

And while Buchanan enjoys debating the bills, perhaps his favorite part of the competition is writing the bills himself.

He has a bill he is currently working on that would create cryptocurrency regulations.

That bill was placed on the back burner over the summer, as Buchanan completed an internship at INL. There, he aided in the development of a website that would host interactive reactor and nuclear fuel simulation tutorials.

When he isn’t writing legislation and coding at INL, Buchanan dabbles in many personal interests. He is currently building a self-hosting server, which would allow his friends and family to store and share files — photos, videos, messages, etc.

Finding an interest and building within that interest is something Buchanan believes more people his age need to do.

“Something I’d love to see more teens doing is, trying to take control of their lives, in terms of having some passion, some project — trying to build something,” he said.

He has not yet decided where he wants to go to college or what he wants to study — because he has such a wide range of interests. For now, Buchanan thinks he will take his Associates degree and complete undergrad at ISU, before going to graduate school elsewhere.

He has spoken to several state and local politicians, and has not ruled that out as a possible career path.