Kids spend­ing Fri­day morn­ing

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - PROFILES -

at the Don­ald W. Reynolds Boys & Girls Club in Fayet­teville tested new and im­proved hard­ware and soft­ware in the club’s com­puter lab, thanks to a do­na­tion of equip­ment, sup­plies and tech­ni­cal as­sis­tance from the pro­ceeds of this year’s NWA TechFest. An an­nual tech­nol­ogy con­fer­ence held in Fayet­teville “for geeks, by geeks,” this year’s NWA TechFest was held on May 18 with more than 260 par­tic­i­pants. Pro­ceeds from the con­fer­ence are ear­marked to as­sist STEM-re­lated (science, tech­nol­ogy, en­gi­neer­ing and math) ini­tia­tives in north­west Arkansas. For 2017, the or­ga­niz­ers of the NWA TechFest com­mit­ted to up­grad­ing the Don­ald W. Reynolds Boys & Girls Club com­puter lab, and to sup­port the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s teen out­reach pro­gram. A con­tri­bu­tion of $4,250 in cash will sup­port the pur­chase of new desk­top com­put­ers for the labs, while a grant from the Arkansas Users of Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions and In­for­ma­tion Sys­tems (AUTIS) pro­vided com­puter ac­ces­sories in­clud­ing mon­i­tors, key­boards, mice, speak­ers, white­boards and other sup­plies for ed­u­ca­tional work­shops. NWA TechFest par­tic­i­pants will also clean and re­store older ma­chines to en­hance their use­ful­ness, and in­stall anti-virus soft­ware to pro­tect and sup­port the chil­dren who use the ma­chines. Ad­di­tional funds will be ded­i­cated to­ward ob­tain­ing ed­u­ca­tional soft­ware. The re­freshed lab will pro­vide ac­cess to tech­nol­ogy for more than 4,700 club mem­bers (age 18 and un­der) to fa­cil­i­tate their ed­u­ca­tional growth. Spon­sors of this year’s NWA TechFest in­clude J.B. Hunt Trans­port Ser­vices Inc.; RevUnit; Blue Zoo; Win­ters Law Firm; Startup Junkie Con­sult­ing; First Orion; Dig­i­tal Ocean; Qbox; Univer­sity of Arkansas Global Cam­pus; ABC Fi­nan­cial; Mozilla; At­las Re­tail Tech­nol­ogy So­lu­tions; Propak; Legacy Na­tional Bank; and Zen­work.

Cour­tesy photo

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