Game on as clubhouse teens travel to US

Three Hamilton teens will fly to the US this year to meet with tech-savvy youths at an international computer conference.

The Intel Computer Clubhouse Network is a global organisation that provides computer literacy for children in low income communities.

Enderley computer clubhouse co-ordinator Anthony Hall with tech savvy teens Te Rata Roberts, centre, and Maka Phillips
Enderley computer clubhouse co-ordinator Anthony Hall with tech savvy teens Te Rata Roberts, centre, and Maka Phillips: Photos: Elton Smallman

It holds a teen summit every two years in Boston and teaches club members high end technologies and skills like graphic design, animation and 3D modelling.

Maka Phillips,14, Legen Hale, 17, and Te Rata Roberts, 18, attend the Enderley branch of the computer clubhouse in Hamilton and are excited to have been chosen to go.

“I just can’t wait to get out there,” said Mr Roberts.

It’s Maka Phillips’ first trip overseas and he is both nervous and excited.

“My parents were yelling at me to go because I didn’t feel like going at first but it’s a once in a lifetime trip so I’ve got to take it.”

Building a future: Maka Phillips enjoys playing his own games.
Building a future: Maka Phillips enjoys playing his own games.

Maka Phillips lives across the road from the clubhouse and said his parents wanted him there every day.

“I’ve created heaps of games – about 20. I use them to show others how to do it.

“The best thing about it is the people, the stuff we can create and a better future for us and the young ones.”

The teens will travel with members from all five New Zealand clubhouses and meet representatives from 110 clubhouses in 20 countries.

The chance of meeting other teens who share the same interests is one reason why Mr Roberts is looking forward to the summit.

“I met clubhouse members from Otara at a national teen summit last year with the same state of mind. We laugh at the same stuff and are hard into tech.”

The Enderley computer clubhouse has been running for two years and provides a free after-school drop-in service for children in the community.

Clubhouse co-ordinator Anthony Hall will travel with the teens and said the summit was a fantastic opportunity for them to build on their IT skills.

The cost of the trip is covered by the clubhouse network but the participants have to take their own spending money, said Mr Hall.

The summit starts on July 10 and runs for six days. It is supported by Boston’s Museum of Science and the MIT media lab.