Student-run Genius Bar to be created on campus

Noa Kattler Kupetz

Staff Writer

Through its enticing advertisements, spotless décor and new technological advancements, Apple has cultivated a method that unfailingly draws crowds to its stores.

Like Apple, Mr. Jason Ablin, head of school, and Mr. Jonathan Cassie, assistant head of school, have been working towards further engaging Milken students and faculty in technology. When Ablin posed the idea to bring an “Apple Store” to Milken’s campus, Cassie was right on board.

“Envision an Apple store energy on campus where students are helping each other, making cool stuff, playing cool games and helping the faculty,” Cassie said.

The idea is to use the Apple Store format to expose Milken students to applications, devices and functions of technology. In Apple Stores, the Genius Bar is a place where “Apple Geniuses,” experts in technology, are available for consultation, teaching and assistance to the public. A full-functioning, student-run take on the Genius Bar will be an asset on the Milken campus next year.

Helping to kick-start this program is Mr. Zed Kelley, who has created a student group called the Student Technology Leadership. This group of technologically-interested middle school and high school students is currently creating apps, but will later serve as the group of experts at the Milken Genius Bar.

“Everyone always jokes about how kids know how to use computers more than adults, so we want to tap into that. The Student Technology Leadership group tries to figure out how we can best serve the school in a controlled and safe manner,” Kelley said.

Members of the Student Technology Leadership are excited to have an outlet for sharing their passion for technology while simultaneously improving Milken.

“The general way it’s supposed to go is that there will be opportunities for students who aren’t part of [the Student Technology Leadership] to come in [to the Genius Bar] and learn about new technology, and people involved in [the Student Technology Leadership] to work on some really cool projects and try to make something themselves,” Alex Weil ’14, one of the eight Student Technology Leaders, said.

Currently, the Genius Bar is located at the middle school, but there are plans for a high school Genius Bar to be built near room 2-107. The high school Genius Bar will have an interior similar to that of an actual Apple Store.

“Imagine walking in, grabbing an iPad, poking around at it, and a student saying, ‘oh, have you seen this app?’” Kelley said. “A scene like this will definitely occur in the future and will be prominent when the Genius Bar is physically built on campus.”

The Student Technology Leadership is looking for more members! If you are interested in joining, contact Mr. Zed Kelley at [email protected].

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