Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT IS GEEK SQUAD ACADEMY?
Geek Squad Academy is an educational program under Best Buy Canada’s community investment pillar. We partner with local non-profit organizations and schools to teach middle and high school students age 10-14 years about the latest technology in a fun, interactive environment. Classes are conducted by local Geek Squad Agents from Best Buy stores on topics such as Robotics, Digital Citizenship, 3D Printing and Digital Music and Film Production to help youth get excited by the opportunities technology can provide while building friendships and self-confidence.
HOW DOES GEEK SQUAD ACADEMY WORK?
Interested non-profit organizations and schools across the country must submit a proposal application. Best Buy will review each proposal and award camps based on location, space and timing. Along with providing facilities for the camp, the host organization is responsible for the recruitment and registration of 60-100 students and must be able to provide one staff member to be present in each class to assist with student supervision.
Since our classes are taught by Geek Squad Agents from local Best Buy stores, eligible facilities must be within a 50 km radius of a Best Buy store.
HOW DID GEEK SQUAD ACADEMY START?
Almost a decade ago, several enterprising Geek Squad Agents in the United States piloted programs in the Midwest to teach high school students how to build their own computers using parts donated by Best Buy and its customers. A female Double Agent took a look at the landscape of this local technical education market and noticed something – none of these programs were designed for young women. She decided to change this, and in Chicago in the summer of 2007, weekend PC builds were replaced with a week-long technology camp for girls and the first Geek Squad Academy was born.
Since the first camp, Geek Squad Academy has expanded to more and more markets, and now camps include both young men and young women ranging in age from ten to eighteen. Partnering with various non-profits in the United States, Best Buy has brought camps to over 70 cities across the US and impacted thousands of Junior Agents.
In 2015, Best Buy Canada brought Geek Squad Academy up north. Our first camp took place at Best Buy Canada’s corporate head office in March and we look forward to continuing to grow this program here in Canada.
HOW CAN I GET GEEK SQUAD ACADEMY IN MY AREA?
Non-profits or schools interested in hosting a Geek Squad Academy camp must submit a proposal application. Applications will be available online in for the upcoming summer and fall season. Watch the site for more details or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to be notified when the application period is open.
WHAT INFORMATION DO I NEED TO COMPLETE THE PROPOSAL APPLICATION?
It is crucial that you have all of your facilities information prior to starting the proposal process. Some of the categories that will be addressed during the proposal process include:
- Host facility address
- Number of rooms available
- Room capacities
- Internet connection type
- Internet speed
- Projected number of students to attend
- Three calendar weeks that your facility may be available to host an event.
HOW LONG DOES EACH CAMP RUN FOR?
Traditionally camps run for 1 or 2 days, however, events can be shortened to after-school or half-day events if requested. Just tell us what you’re looking for and we’ll do our best to try and fit the program to your needs.
Please keep in mind that to host a camp, GSA will need access to your facility and exclusive use of all the rooms one day prior to the camp so we can set up all the equipment and train our instructors. If you are a school looking to host the camp during school hours, we recommend camp starts on a Monday so set-up day can be on a Sunday to minimize the disruption.
WHY DO YOU PARTNER WITH NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS AND SCHOOLS?
Geek Squad Academy’s mission in Canada is to connect youth with technology to inspire, motivate and empower their education and highlight the role technology could play in their future. Geek Squad Academy partners with organizations throughout the country who share our mission of opening doors because we believe that together, we can make a positive impact on today’s youth.
WHO CAN ATTEND A GEEK SQUAD ACADEMY?
Geek Squad Academy is customized for students between the ages of 10 – 14. Some locations have special attendee requirements based on the host non-profit’s needs and the communities it serves.
CAN ADULTS PARTICIPATE IN GEEK SQUAD ACADEMY?
Geek Squad Academy does not have programs for adults at this time; however, feel free to reach out to our non-profit hosts to volunteer as a chaperon.
WHAT COURSES ARE TAUGHT AT GEEK SQUAD ACADEMY?
Here are a few of the subjects covered that may be offered at a Geek Squad Academy camp:
Students learn about making music using GarageBand, editing multi-track songs, and collaborating with others to create and mix music.
Students learn robotics and programming skills utilizing the Lego Mindstorm Ev3 curriculum. Students build their robot and write programming to manipulate their robot through a maze.
Students learn the importance of responsible internet use, including protecting personal information, avoiding suspicious content, and how to handle online bullying.
Film and Script
This interactive session gives students a chance to “break down a script” look at the nuts and bolts of directing actors and bring the script to life. In addition, students will learn filming techniques to help expand the story.
3D Printing and CAD Design
Students learn skills in CAD design and engineering, and create a small three-dimensional object that will be printed during class.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO ATTEND A GEEK SQUAD ACADEMY?
Most Geek Squad Academy camps are offered to participants free of charge. However, in a few cases, hosting non-profit partners may charge a nominal fee for participation if needed to offset administrative costs.
DOES GEEK SQUAD ACADEMY OFFER CAMPS THAT RUN YEAR-ROUND?
While traditionally Geek Squad Academy has occurred throughout the summer months when kids are out of school, we are also available to schedule camps throughout the school year during Professional Development days (PA days) and school breaks.
I HAVE A QUESTION THAT IS NOT LISTED HERE!
Please submit your questions by emailing us at email@example.com.