Grand Rapids, Michigan—On Halloween, as part of The Geek Group’s (TGG) ‘Computers, not Candy’ program, TGG donated 100 re-purposed laptops to economically disadvantaged students enrolled in the Grand Rapids Area Pre-college Engineering Program/Engineering and Biomedical School. These students specifically enrolled in the program because of their passion for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), making them perfect candidates for the laptops.
Dart Container Corporation donated the computers to TGG as part of Dart’s commitment to increase Michigan residents’ access to STEM education. The laptops are one of several donations Dart Container has provided in the last four years to The Geek Group.
“As an employer of hundreds of engineers, IT and finance professionals in Michigan, Dart Container recognizes the need to encourage our state’s students to find their futures in these critically important fields of study,” said Lelah Melton, Vice President of Information Technology for Dart. “We are pleased to partner with TGG to help students in this STEM-focused program to be successful in high school and beyond.”
TGG re-furbished the laptops, which included cleaning, hardware repair and installation of the Mint distribution of Linux to make every laptop an open source device. “Giving students an open sourced operating system means that they can play with the computer, and learn from it, in any way they wish,” said Adam Bird, TGG board member. “As students of engineering and design, having a computer is an essential tool for learning.”
The ‘Computers, not Candy’ program reflects TGG’s mission to increase access to the tools people need to help them learn in their own way and at their own pace. In addition to computers, TGG offers a 43,000 s/f building with a laboratory and workshop to create a physical environment for self-driven learning.
Photographs available: http://thegeekgroup.org/computers-not-candy-event-2012/
The Geek Group is a federally certified 501c(3) non-profit dedicated to providing access to science, technology, engineering and math by developing programming and facilities for individuals and institutions to learn, explore, innovate and play at an independent pace according to their needs. Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, TGG has approximately 4,000 members worldwide and 18,000 youtube subscribers.
Dart Container Corporation is family owned and operated, and has approximately 15,000 employees worldwide with its acquisition of Solo Cup Company. The company manufactures more than 1,000 single-use foodservice packaging products with facilities in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Panama, Australia and the United Kingdom. DCC has more than 40 production plants and UV-curable ink manufacturing, machinery manufacturing and polymer production facilities. DCC is headquartered in Mason, Michigan, where the company was founded in 1960.
Press Release (PDF)