Frequently Asked Questions
What is geek squad academy?
Geek Squad Academy partners 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).
Classes are conducted by Geek Squad Agents from local Best Buy stores on topics such as Robotics, Digital Citizenship, 3D Design, Digital Music, and Coding. 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 to teach high school students how to build their own computers using parts donated by Best Buy and its customers. At the same time, a female Double Agent noticed that there was a lack of technical educational programs for young women. She decided to change this, and 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 most major Canadian cities, 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. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out when the next application period will be open.
If you’re interested in having your child participate in Geek Squad Academy, we recommend speaking to their teacher, principal, or non-profit leader (e.g. Club Coordinator, Girl Guide Leader) and encouraging them 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:
- Whether you are interested in a full day camp (6 hours) or a workshop (1-2 hours)
- Projected number and ages of students to attend
- Your preferred date to host Geek Squad Academy (and if your dates are flexible)
- Requirements to volunteer with your school/organization (e.g. Background Checks, Vulnerable Sector Checks)
- Host facility address
- Number of rooms available, capacities, and whether they can be secured
- Internet access
- If access to your building is available during off-hours (weekend or evenings)
How long does each camp run for?
There are two main options available for Geek Squad Academy: full day camps, or workshops. Full day camps run for approximately 6 hours (or a regular school day). A workshop can run for 1 or 2 hours, depending on the number of students involved.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A FULL DAY CAMP AND A WORKSHOP?
A full day camp can include a group of 80 to 120 participants, each taking four different courses throughout the day. To host a full camp, we require four large rooms that can accommodate 20-30 people. A full camp is ideal for large groups such as schools, or non-profit organizations that have access to a large facility
A workshop is ideal for smaller groups of 20 to 40 participants, and can include one or different courses (for 1-2 hours). Workshops are great for organizations that work with smaller facilities or groups.
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 volunteer 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.
If you are interested in a variation of a workshop, such as an after-school or half-day event, please complete the workshop application form. Tell us what you’re looking for, and we’ll do our best to try and fit the program to your needs.
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.
What courses are taught at geek squad academy?
Like advancements in technology, our curriculum is also constantly evolving. Some of the subjects covered at a Geek Squad Academy session may include:
Students will learn how to use some of the most popular music creation software by working together to create and mix music.
Students will learn the basic foundation of computer programming for robotics. Utilizing teamwork and critical thinking concepts, they will work through a series of challenges.
Students learn their responsibilities as digital citizens as well as increase their digital literacy, understanding the long-term effects of their online interactions through hands-on activities.
Students will learn new CAD skills by exploring the tools to design their own three-dimensional models and other creations that can be made with a 3D printer.
Students will learn the fundamental concepts of coding, and create their own internet content by learning about HTML and block programming.
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 March 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).
CAN ADULTS PARTICIPATE IN GEEK SQUAD ACADEMY?
Geek Squad Academy does not have programs for adults at this time.
CAN I VOLUNTEER AT GEEK SQUAD ACADEMY?
Volunteer opportunities for Geek Squad Academy are only open to current Best Buy employees.
I have a question that is not listed here!
Please submit your questions by emailing us at email@example.com.