- Cincinnati Public Schools
Geek Squad Unleashes a Byte-sized Boost of Innovation at Aiken High School!
Eighth-grade students at Aiken New Tech High School got a tech treat when the Geek Squad van rolled onto their campus. The technology support group held a two-day camp aimed to empower students with essential tech skills while igniting their passion for innovation and problem-solving.
Geek Squad Academy, a program developed by Best Buy, delivers high-quality, hands-on tech education to young minds nationwide. By partnering with schools, they offer students an immersive experience that combines learning with fun and creativity.
“This camp gives kids access to technology that they might not necessarily get at home or in the community,” Jeffery Kendrick, Best Buy and Geek Squad event manager, said. “We're challenging these students, which we call junior agents, to become creators of digital content, not just consumers.”
During their visit to Aiken High School, the Geek Squad Academy team brought a wealth of knowledge and tech resources. The students had the chance to engage in various interactive workshops, covering topics such as coding, robotics, digital music and more.
“These students have been highly engaged, and hungry to learn,” Kendrick said.
Kendrick said students were collaborating on projects from across the classroom.
The collaboration between Best Buy Geek Squad Academy and Aiken High School highlights the importance of providing students with access to technology education and equipping them with the skills necessary to thrive in the digital age. By introducing hands-on learning experiences, this program not only empowers students but also inspires them to pursue careers in STEM fields.
Mary Welsh Schlueter, chief executive officer of Partnership for Innovation and Education (PIE), said this is exactly the type of educational opportunity her organization provides students.
“Since 2009, we’ve been focused on helping develop STEM and career-ready opportunities for kids to have authentic and immersive learning experiences that are aligned to career pathways and industry-recognized credentials,” Welsh Schlueter said.
Welsh Schlueter and Matthew Ernst, Aiken New Tech High School teacher, coordinated the visit to ignite students’ passion for technology at a young age. With the help of Geek Squad and presenters Rich Granger, ODOT DriveOhio director and Sai Bonthu, Ph.D. student at University of Cincinnati College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, this passion can become future career opportunities for students.
“We’re providing these students skill sets in information technology, in programming, videography, drone tech, engineering and smart mobility, so we're essentially introducing kids to these in-demand high-paying jobs,” Welsh Schlueter said.
Charlie Dong, eighth-grade student at Aiken said he enjoyed his experience with 3D modeling in the program and hopes to continue learning these tech skills in the future.
“Usually we would be in class learning and running down notes but we're having fun and doing something productive that gives us experience,” Dong said.
Welsh Schlueter hopes to expand similar technology opportunities to more schools in the future, and is working to create a teen tech center.