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 students about the latest technology in a fun, interactive environment. Our camps are customized for students aged 10 to 16 (14 to 16 in Quebec).
We offer two separate course curriculums; one suited for elementary school-aged students (ages 10-12), and one for students aged 13 to 16. Classes are conducted by Geek Squad Agents from local Best Buy stores on topics such as Robotics, Digital Citizenship, 3D Design, Digital Music, and Web Programming. Our goal is 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 80-120 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 and Blue Shirts 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?
More than ten years 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 her 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 in the United States include both young men and women ranging in age from ten to eighteen. Partnering with various non-profit organizations, Best Buy has already 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. So far, we have held camps in the Greater Vancouver area, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Ottawa, and the Greater Toronto area, 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 are now available for the upcoming season; see below to apply!
What information do i need to complete the proposal application?
It is crucial that you have all of your facility’s 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, capacities, and whether they can be secured
- Internet speed and connection type
- Projected number of students to attend
- Age range of participants (10-12 years old, or 13-16 years old)
- Your preferred date to host Geek Squad Academy (and if your dates are flexible)
- Whether you would like to host a full day camp or a 1-2 hour workshop
How long does each camp run for?
Traditionally, camps run for 1 full day (6 hours). There may be a possibility to offer a modified version of Geek Squad Academy (as an after-school or half-day event, for example). 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 full camp, we will need access to your facility and have exclusive use of all the rooms one day prior to the camp for equipment set-up and instructor training. If you are a school looking to host the camp during school hours, we recommend that 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 camp?
Geek Squad Academy is customized for students between the ages of 10 – 16. We offer two separate course curriculums; one suited for elementary school-aged students (ages 10-12), and one for students aged 13 to 16. Currently camps are only open to the students or attendees of the school or non-profit organization that is hosting the camp. There may be opportunities in the future for youth to register to participate in Geek Squad Academy through public workshops. Watch this website for updates.
Can adults participate in geek squad academy?
Geek Squad Academy does not have programs for adults at this time.
What courses are taught at geek squad academy?
Here are a few of the subjects 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.
Students learn skills in CAD design and engineering, create a three-dimensional object, and may see a 3D printer in action.
Students learn how HTML and CSS coding works through interactive games and activities.
How much does it cost to attend a geek squad academy camp?
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?
Geek Squad Academy runs camps from April to January, with the exception of December. We are also able to schedule camps during school breaks such as summer and Professional Development days (PA days).
I have a question that is not listed here!
Please submit your questions by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.