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Middle school students get tech savvy
Hilmar tech pic1
Hilmar Middle School computer aide Linda Kwiatek shows seventh grader Bailey Rachels how laser printer cartridges work during a Technology Club meeting on Monday. - photo by JONATHAN MCCORKELL / The Journal

As today’s world moves further down the technological and information super highway, knowledge of all things computer related has become a key component of success — not just academically, but in the workforce as well.
At Hilmar Middle School a group of students in the after-school Technology Club are learning valuable lessons they will need as they transition to high school and beyond.
Last school year Hilmar Middle School computer aide Linda Kwiatek launched the Tech Club for students interested in computers and technology. This year the club has grown from one day a week for one hour to two days, and participating students are engaged and excited for the club’s growth.
“This club gives kids the opportunity to improve their readiness for high school and college. The skills they learn are very useful for their futures,” said Kwiatek.
Students in the Tech Club started the year learning basic computer terminology and about a computer’s interior components, including hard drives, the motherboard, central processing unit and random access memory.
Later the students were taught basic html code, operating systems and web page development and printer systems. Also students have been introduced to Microsoft Word, Google Docs and they have given informally graded presentations using PowerPoint.
After the holiday break Kwiatek plans to have students conduct online research, write a report and conduct a presentation on universities and potential majors they are interested in exploring, along with a full-page letter of intent for admission.
Further instruction will include creating a resume using Word and using online job search engines for locate employment (hypothetically, of course).
As with most middle schoolers, Tech Club participants are extremely interested in the gaming aspect of computers. Through the club the students will be given the opportunity to “build” a gaming computer using parts they learned about in past meetings.
HMS seventh-grader Garrett Mendes is leaning toward a possible career in the technology field. “This club is fun and I like learning about computers and how they work. I am considering going into game design,” he said.
Fellow tech cluber Alexis Ponce said he takes what he has learned home.

“Now I know how to fix a printer if there is a paper jam and I know how to change a hard drive,” he said.
“One of the goals with the Tech Club is to teach the kids the practical, real-world uses of a computer, something they can take home,” said Kwiatek.
To contact Jonathan McCorkell, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2015.