Techie Camp teaches youngsters the ins and outs of computers - East Valley Tribune: Business

Techie Camp teaches youngsters the ins and outs of computers

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Posted: Wednesday, June 22, 2005 10:58 am | Updated: 7:20 am, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Christie Stemple learned how to take apart a computer and put it back together Tuesday at the Chandler-Gilbert YMCA.

The Hamilton High School freshman also learned the functions of each computer part, basic troubleshooting techniques and how to add components such as a DVD-ROM.

Stemple was the lone girl among 11 boys in the three-hour Techie Camp. After the class, each student got to take home a newly-assembled computer with a monitor and keyboard.

"It’s been fun," said Stemple, 14, who took the class with her 13-year-old brother, Andy. "It’s a good experience."

The class is being offered for the first time this summer at the Chandler-Gilbert YMCA, 1655 W. Frye Road in Chandler, through Arizona StRUT — Students Recycling Used Technology. The nonprofit organization provides students and educators with computer technology and training using surplus equipment.

The Techie Camp is usually taught at local schools and is geared for seventh- to ninth-graders. Students are taught how to evaluate, repair and refurbish the donated computers. The computers are then donated to schools or organizations where the class is taught, said Ken Mystrom, Arizona StRUT’s executive director.

"The students get applied hands-on learning with the hopes they will grow up and become our future engineers and scientists," said Mystrom, a Chandler resident and Motorola program manager. "We’re trying to get kids excited about technology."

Tables were covered with all the pieces of the computer as the students eagerly put the computers back together after a short lunch break. One student quickly named all the pieces, from the motherboard and video card, to the hard drive and ribbon cables.

Matt Eckersley, a YMCA technology program director, lead the class after instruction by Mystrom. Eckersley answered questions and made sure the students were assembling the parts correctly.

The black screws go in the hard drive, and the gold screws are put into the floppy disk and CD-ROM, some of the students reminded each other.

Nick Cross, an eighth-grader at Chandler Preparatory Academy, took the class because he’s interested in learning about electronics.

"They fascinate me. It’s sort of a hobby," said Cross, 13, who also builds Warhammer miniatures for the fantasy battle game. "I learned that the central processing unit does all the thinking and if that doesn’t work, the computer doesn’t work. I think the class is fun, interesting and it kept my attention."

Find out more

The Techie Camp will be offered again June 30 and July 7, 14 and 19. For information, call (480) 899-9622. To learn more on Arizona StRUT, call (480) 222-4066 or visit

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