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Best Buy Geek Squad
Best Buy Geek Squad

This summer, 56 community youth descended upon the Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science for a fully immersive workshop covering the latest in interactive multimedia technologies.

Geek Squad Academy is a weekend hands-on learning program sponsored by Best Buy. The program is a partnership between the company, the college and Oregon MESA, an outreach program that engages 6th-12th grade students from communities underrepresented in the STEM fields. Best Buy employees, or “Agents,” and Maseeh College student ambassadors teamed up to teach students about digital photography, digital film production, digital literacy, robotics, 3D printing and digital music.

“The most exciting thing I’ve done this weekend, would have to be either the movie we created here, which we did in two days, and it looks really, really cool, or the robots,” said Noah Sandstrom, Junior Agent. “You’ve got to start with a robot, and, I don’t want to say build it, but you design it and it’s programmed from the ground up. You really controlled how it moved, and you had to think about it three-dimensionally which you don’t really get to do in school or anywhere else.”

Excitement about the program was echoed by others. “You get to learn about different things like Internet safety, robotics, 3D printing and even music. And you also get to meet new people which is fun,” said Gabby Chambers, Junior Agent.

“The Maseeh College is committed to increasing opportunities for our diverse Oregon youth to participate in hands-on activities like Geek Squad that really show students what engineering, computer science and technology is all about, “ said David Coronado, Director of Oregon MESA. “It also shows them a college education is a real possibility. We had students from all over, including from programs like MESA, SEI, and SUN Schools.”

This was the first time Maseeh College hosted Geek Squad Academy, but it hopes to do it again next year. The College frequently engages with K-12 grade students to inspire more of them to consider engineering and computer science as a career.

If you are involved with an organization promoting science and technology education and would like to partner with Maseeh College please contact Yerewelle de Rouen, Recruitment and Outreach Advisor at 503-725-5030 or derouen@cecs.pdx.edu.