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Fiserv Celebrates FIN Future Techie Students of the Week
Fiserv Celebrates FIN Future Techie Students of the Week
Fiserv Celebrates FIN Future Techie Students of the Week

Published on: 05/19/2023


BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Congratulations to Columbia Middle School seventh graders Steffen Sternberg and Oliver Schmid, who have been selected as this week's Fiserv FIN Future Techie Students of the Week! The duo is celebrated for their achievements in tech innovation.

Sixty-one 5th through 8th grade students from Berkeley Heights and Watchung were selected for an opportunity to explore cutting-edge technology featuring courses such as Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, App Fundamentals, Data Diving and Visualization, and Cybersecurity. Students learned directly from Fiserv associates who offered experiential insights through “Techie Tracks,” which tackled solutions to some of today’s evolving fintech challenges.

Steffen was hooked from the minute he learned about the program offered to middle school students. “I became interested in the FIN Future Techie Program after hearing about who Fiserv is and the opportunities they offer students interested in STEAM. I understood what their mission is and was instantly hooked.”

As part of the program, small groups of participating students were challenged to use what they learned to develop a technology product or service to improve visitors’ experiences at a public space.

Guy Chiarello, Chief Operating Officer, Fiserv, said, “When Distinguished Engineer Sri Muthukrishnan and his team partnered with the kids to bring their visions to life, he witnessed the moment where limitless possibilities were just right there. I could see it on their faces, it was really priceless for us to be a part of it.”

Steffen and Oliver noticed that many people lack the required resources to access and engage in gaming effectively. “Additionally, certain highly demanding games require expensive hardware and faster networking capabilities. This can create a barrier for people who enjoy gaming but are unable to afford the necessary equipment or internet speeds.”

Their solution was A LAN gaming center. “Not only can it make gaming more accessible by providing a dedicated facility to play in, but it can also enhance the gaming experience by offering faster speeds through new and advancing technology. This would not only make online gaming easier but also allow you to play with friends in person more efficiently,” said Steffen.

Steffen appreciates Fiserv for sponsoring this STEAM program. “FIN Future Techies has exposed us to many different ways of applying technology,” he said. 

Steffen answered the following questions from TAPinto about his FIN Future Techie experience:

TAPinto: Students are increasingly interested in technology careers. Do you believe technology will be part of your future career choices? If so, why?

Steffen: I would like to become a computer engineer and believe technology will be part of my future life career. When I was eight-years-old I began coding. Since then, I have worked with robots, fixing computers, and understand college level computer science programming high-level Python and Data Science. Also, during fifth grade I co-taught the Computer Club.

TAPinto: What did you learn from the FIN Future Techie program?

Steffen: I learned mainly about banking, how money moves through a system, and the concept of ‘rather be safe than sorry’ in terms of data security. As we went through many lessons showcasing the importance of keeping a level of privacy on everything. One main lesson was when we, as a team, went through what a Fiserv counter-hacker would have to go through trying to find a hacker in their system.

TAPinto: Would you recommend this program to other students, and why?

Steffen: I would recommend this program to other students regardless of what they enjoy because anyone can get something out of this and learn future skills that they can apply in the real world, and their everyday life.

TAPinto: What do you enjoy doing for fun?

Steffen: I enjoy playing tennis and have been playing since I was four-years-old. Since then, I have progressed greatly and have become one of the youngest players in the top group. I also enjoy coding and logic puzzles as it makes me think in depth about the solution and this is also a good brain challenge.

Editor's note: TAPinto is proud to recognize the inaugural participants of the Fiserv FIN Future Techie STEAM program with a special series featuring each group. Over the coming weeks, readers can get to know these inspiring individuals on our Berkeley Heights and Watchung sites!


As a leader in fintech and payments, Fiserv is committed to paying it forward in the community by creating positive change through the power of its people, technology and global presence. In 2022, the company launched FIN Future Techies, an immersive after-school program designed to cultivate the next generation of technology leaders. A component of the Fiserv Innovation Network (FIN) – a unifying framework that connects and elevates all innovation-related initiatives, strategies, programs and partnerships across the company – FIN Future Techies provides students a new way of experiencing the fintech world through STEAM-focused learning.

Author :Bobbie Peer

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