Learning circuits and programming with the Geek Squad

Billy Steele
B. Steele|11.08.14

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Learning circuits and programming with the Geek Squad

If you're ever made a gadget purchase at Best Buy, you've likely heard of the Geek Squad: the retailer's in-house fleet of tech support and repair specialists. Well, helping with your hard drive issues isn't all they do. Here at Expand NY, the crew is showing off some of the tools used at Geek Squad Academy events where kids can learn about technology -- from circuits to programming and more. Being the type to roll up our sleeves, we headed over to take a look. Jump down after the break to take a look at the banana-powered piano and video game controlled with a pair of watermelons.

Here's the banana piano. That piece of fruit on the right is the ground and tapping the others makes the sounds. The system uses a $50 MaKey MaKey board that features two sides for different skill levels to help with the learning. In terms of software, the Geek Squad uses Scratch, a basic programming app, to sort the intended behavior.

The MaKey MaKey can also be used to create circuits that double as video game controllers, using watermelons or aluminum foil to make jumps or navigate a maze.

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