Building better bytes: Students host workshops

By Ben Reed, Staff Reporter

As Conestoga continues to utilize technology in its curriculum and it becomes increasingly important to understand, students of T/E Middle School are starting to learn the basics of this technology and how to assemble it. The Computers for Kids club, a technology based service club, has the goal of preparing the young students of our community for this future.

The club has meetings for high school members along with workshops for middle school students. A variety of skills are taught at these workshops that deal with technology such as Raspberry Pi computers and the production of other computers with physical parts and hardware.

“What we try to do is use the technological resources we have available at the high school to try to educate others and also do good in the community through activities,” said co-president Amil Agrawal. “For example, workshops for middle schoolers and also teaching our members about computers and educating them on how they can make the world a better place using them.”

The workshops take place on random dates at T/E Middle School and last around an hour. The first half of the club meeting consists of high school members presenting a PowerPoint to the younger students that goes over the basics. After the PowerPoint is through, the middle schoolers are divided into small groups and assigned to a high schooler. The small groups are then able to get hands on with the actual equipment.

Last year, these workshops were forced to take place virtually. Fortunately, this year they are able to be held in person. Co-president Aaron Grossman spoke on this change.

“We held our first (workshop)we did last year over (Microsoft) Teams, and this year is a lot better because we can get (the middle schoolers) hands on with actual physical hardware instead of using a computer simulation shared screen over Teams,” said Grossman. “So they’re going to get hands on with real world skills that they can actually use learning to build a computer with physical computer parts in hardware.”

For the middle school aged members of this club, it is an exciting opportunity to learn more about computers and how they actually work. For 8th grader Jake Foster, joining the club was a great way to increase his knowledge about technology. For other students, there were other reasons they chose     to join.

“I wanted to learn more on how you can model more efficiently and also how this tech stuff works.” said eighth grader Caleb Chong.

Along with the workshops, the Computer for Kids clubs is hoping to get back to helping the community in other ways as well in relation to technology.

“We’re trying to bring back refurbishments with T/E Cares, the charity where we go down to the NOC center which is a building near the middle school to refurbish donated laptops, which we would then distribute.” Grossman said. “We’re hoping to bring that back after a year of virtual.” 

Ben Reed can be reached at [email protected]