Round Lake area students learn computer skills at Geek Squad Academy

  • Kenneth Richardson, left, and Richard Martin work on creating a computer game in the BB8 Robotics class during the Geek Squad Academy camp Wednesday at Round Lake Middle School in Round Lake Heights.

      Kenneth Richardson, left, and Richard Martin work on creating a computer game in the BB8 Robotics class during the Geek Squad Academy camp Wednesday at Round Lake Middle School in Round Lake Heights. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Instructor Sam Sussman, left, works with kids Wednesday to create a computer game in the BB8 Robotics class during the two-day Geek Squad Academy camp taking place at Round Lake Middle School in Round Lake Heights.

      Instructor Sam Sussman, left, works with kids Wednesday to create a computer game in the BB8 Robotics class during the two-day Geek Squad Academy camp taking place at Round Lake Middle School in Round Lake Heights. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Kylie Burkhardt participates Wednesday in the Geek Squad Academy camp's Digital Music class at Round Lake Middle School in Round Lake Heights.

      Kylie Burkhardt participates Wednesday in the Geek Squad Academy camp's Digital Music class at Round Lake Middle School in Round Lake Heights. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 7/25/2019 6:23 AM

About 50 students from the Round Lake area used technology to make music, play with robots and even film their own short Lego movies on the first day of a free two-day technology academy put on by Best Buy's Geek Squad.

The students, aged 10 to 17, rotated between classrooms where the lessons, which are designed to be fun and informative, were set up at Round Lake Middle School.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

This is the fourth year the Geek Squad Academy has been held in Round Lake. Casey Blake, a field lieutenant for Geek Squad Academy, said this year officials decided to introduce the Lego filming activity. He said students Wednesday took pictures of Lego characters and pieces in different poses and on Thursday they will learn to use computers to stitch the images together into a video clip.

"The videos end up being around 10 seconds long," Blake said. "It's quite a lot to do for 10 seconds, it could be almost 100 pictures sometimes."

The goal of the camps -- there are 60 across the country in 2019 alone -- is to get youth excited about technology because that's where jobs are heading, Blake said.

"A lot of kids in the areas that we go to don't have access to the internet at home or to technology like iPads," Blake said. "So they get to come and play and learn at the same time."

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Blake said another important component of the academy is teaching kids to be safe online.

"That's increasingly important as technology becomes more ingrained."

About 50,000 young people have attended a Geek Squad Academy session since the program began in 2007, according to Best Buy. This year the company aims to serve 10,000 students, which would be the most reached in a single year.

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