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High-Tech heroes unleash creative talent at National Digital Teen Summit
Posted on 18-Jul-2011 12:53 | Tags Filed under: News

Youth “ambassadors” from Computer Clubhouses across New Zealand will converge on the national flagship Clubhouse in Manukau for one week to develop high-tech projects around the summit’s theme “We are One – We are Many – We are Change” by creating computer-generated animations, art, music, radio and video documentaries, robots, and 3-D modeling.

The summit activities include a “Clubhouse-to-Career” Fair where youth will explore career and higher-learning options, interact with local tertiary and industry representatives, and meet working engineers, musicians, animators, writers, programmers, and photographers.

These teen ambassadors have been selected based on their outstanding leadership skills, technical and creative abilities, and the exceptional contributions they’ve made to their local community Clubhouse.

Clench Enoka age 13, a member of the Naenae Computer Clubhouse in Hutt City says, “It is going to be awesome to meet members from other Clubhouses. I am looking forward to working with them and creating something amazing".

This NZ Teen Summit builds on the success of the biennial Global Teen Summit held in the United States. The five New Zealand Computer Clubhouses are part of the world wide Computer Clubhouse Network, a group that represents over 100 Clubhouses in over 20 Countries.

Since 2006, Clubhouse youth from New Zealand have been fortunate enough to attend the international Teen Summit. “These events demonstrated that when Clubhouse youth come together and collaborate, share, learn and have fun, a real sense of community and relationship building occurs”, says Kane Milne, organiser of the weeklong summit.

“At Clubhouse, our members are purposeful and productive in developing their creative talent, when you combine the power of advanced technology, with a learning environment that is stimulating, safe & exciting, young people generate digital innovation that is light years beyond what is contained in prescribed “text-books”, and Clubhouse kids are all from underserved communities”, adds Milne.

Mike Usmar, CEO of Computer Clubhouse New Zealand says, “At Computer Clubhouse youth build hands-on fluency in technology and become self-motivated, confident learners through collaborative experiences that are sparked from their own interests. Furthermore, research is showing us that young people are early adopters of technology who rapidly pass on what they know to other young people, family and even their teachers!”

“Ultimately, this National Digital Teen Summit will help us build a digital community of learners of about 40,000 young people and families here in New Zealand that, if we get this right, will be a deal breaker for the economic future of our country” Usmar reports.

Brett O’Riley Chairperson of the NZ Clubhouse Network and out-going CEO of the NZICT Group, an industry association made up of over 100 leading New Zealand technology companies, reports that the High-Tech Sector now represents over Five billion dollars in exports for the country.

“Clubhouse not only provides the very best technology to children who would otherwise miss out, but also brings in inspirational adult mentors who are equally passionate about growing our countries future high-tech heroes” states O’Riley.

O’Riley further adds, “The wonderful thing about technology is that it doesn’t discriminate based on socio-economic status. If young people are motivated and prepared to work hard, then high-tech tools can provide a major boost to their future careers and higher learning prospects.”

Prime Minister John Key, who will open the Teen Summit via a pre-recorded video message to the young people, builds on this idea. “Reaching your goals is never an easy thing to do, it takes commitment, determination and of course hard work, but if you set your mind to it, I believe you can achieve anything. I hope you will make the most of being involved in Computer Clubhouse New Zealand, and I hope you have a great time at the summit”.

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