New 'Geek Squad' summer camp

August 4, 2008 4:01:00 PM PDT
A different kind of summer camp. No swimming, no canoeing, no hiking. Just lots of mice, hard drives and software. This is a camp where kids learn about computers. And their counselors calls themselves The Geek Squad.

The students handle cables and at a summer camp, they also learned how to build computer networks, how to create a websites, and how to edit photos on computers, all taught by the Geek Squad.

"For being a Geek Squad agent, and we work every day in the field, in homes and with businesses, but to be able to share your knowledge with kids is just a special experience; it brings us together in a way we've never been brought together before," said Moria Hardek, a program coordinator.

The summer camp is designed for students with little or no knowledge of the nuts and bolts of computer technology. It is also very much by design that all the campers are girls.

The two-year old program is held in several cities. This is its first summer in New York. The idea grew out of a brainstorming session among female Geek Squad agents, as they are called, on how to get more women interested in technology.

"In any career that you go into, you're going to be dealing with technology. So we want to make sure to give these young women technical skills; skils they can use for any industry or any career that they decide on," says Kathryn Sederquist.

The camp is also a partnership between the Geek Squad and the not-for-profit group called Mouse, which supports technology education in schools for boys and girls.

"By doing this, we're really trying to draw girls in; let them see that it's not so scary, and we also think that there's an important connection between math, science and technology, so we want girls to be a part of that," said Executive Director Carole Wacey.

"Maybe this will help me, and maybe I'm going to want to go into computer programming or computer building when I get older as a career. So it's definately opened my eyes to something that I've never learned before," said Daniela Bartalini.

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STORY BY: Eyewitness News education reporter: Art McFarland WEB PRODUCED BY: Scott Curkin

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