Left to right: Reid McAdam, Lanson Nicholas, Abigail Peterson, Deshara Bagley, Jade Brown and Douglas Brane are the high-energy, teen staff at TechPlayzone, who were all former campers of TechPlayzone’s STEM camps.

TechPlayzone is a science and technology program/camp that began in 2005, founded by Desh and Daryl Bagley. The TechPlayzone staff offers on-site workshops and training. Staff members bring the equipment, curriculum and high-energy workshops to students at their locations.

In addition to all the cool technology and fun the program offers, the high-energy, teen staff are all former attendees of TechPlayzone.

Amelie Strahan, Abigail Peterson, Reid McAdam, Deshara Bagley, Jade Brown, Douglas Brane and Lanson Nicholas all attended TechPlayzone camp when they were in elementary school. Deshara actually attended camp as a newborn baby.

“I have been a part of Techplayzone since I was in the womb,” she joked. “It’s all I’ve ever known my entire life and it has helped me excel in school.”

Deshara is the daughter of TechPlayzone’s founders.

Peterson and Deshara have been a part of the camp the longest.

“The camp has had a huge impact on my life,” Peterson said. “STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) is a huge part of my life and TechPlayzone is a great starting place for kids to get into STEM.”

In addition to teaching TechPlayzone’s instructors about STEM, the camp has also taught them many important life skills.

“It has taught me patience and how to interact with students,” Amelie said. “I love that I’m teaching future generations about STEM.”

McAdam and Brown both started at the TechPlayzone camp when they were in kindergarten.

“I liked that everything we learned in camp was very hands-on,” McAdam said. “It’s cool that I now get to teach STEM to little kids.”

Brown lives in Texas, but she comes to teach at the camp every year.

“If it wasn’t for TechPlayzone, I would have never learned about STEM because my school in Texas really doesn’t have many programs for STEM,” Jade said. “I love that I can teach what I know from the camp to new campers and TechPlayzone is like family to me.”

This is Brane’s first year teaching at TechPlayzone. He lives in Louisiana and found out about the camp from his aunt who lives in Brandon.

“I love computers and I like that I now have the opportunity to teach other kids about them,” Brane said.

Nicholas got involved with the camp through his brother who was a former camper.

“I attended camp and then, as I got a little older, I started to volunteer at the camp,” Nicholas said. “The camp has always been a part of my life and I’m happy that it’s still a part of it.”

If you would like to learn more about TechPlayzone, visit www.techplayzone.com.

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Libby Hopkins has been a part of the Brandon community for more than 30 years. She is a graduate of USF with a degree in journalism. She has been a freelance writer for The Osprey Observer Newspaper since 2008. She also the Executive Director of Center Place Fine Arts and Civic Association. She is a dog mom to her rescue dog, Marshall. She loves being a part of the Brandon Community and she loves sharing positive news about our community.