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June 10, 2015

Natalie AlbersStaff Writer

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If learning robotics, making music and writing code sound more fun than swatting mosquitoes and singing around a fire, the camps offered by Geek Squad Academy (GSA) are where to be this summer.

No sleeping bags are required at Best Buy’s GSA camps, but students do need to pack curiosity and creativity. With hands-on access to computers, tablets, and other techy gadgets, they’re joining the more than 20,000 past attendees in learning new skills, gaining confidence and getting a head start on their futures.

The 2015 program kicks off today with camps in Cleveland and Orlando, Fla., and the summer schedule calls for 30 more to be held from coast to coast by the end of September. Hundreds of Geek Squad Agents and Best Buy Blue Shirts are helping make it all happen.

It’s the ninth year that GSA has partnered with local nonprofits and other organizations to help underserved students between the ages of 10 and 18. The academy also is joining with other organizations for large events around the United States, such as the National Urban League’s Youth Summit.

“This program offers young people the opportunity to learn about technology and all of the professional possibilities that come with it,” said Susan Bass Roberts, head of Community Relations/Diversity & Inclusion at Best Buy. “Providing this kind of hands-on training in the right way enhances their desire to apply this knowledge to their future education and career choices.”

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Through the activities provided at the camps, participants get the opportunity to develop the 21st century tech skills that can help them prepare for college and future careers. The curriculum invites them to become “Junior Agents” through exploring digital citizenship, film production, computer programming and robotics, as well as 3D printing and circuitry.

The program’s success led to the investment in and support of Best Buy Teen Tech Centers, which are open year-round. The centers are now in Chicago; Denver; Jersey City, N.J.; Miami; Minneapolis; San Antonio; Seattle, and Washington, D.C. Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, and San Francisco are on tap to get a center, too.

For a complete schedule of Geek Squad Academy 2015 dates, locations, enrollment information and more, visit https://academy.geeksquad.com.

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