Ken Schaffer recently bought a professional-quality camera. The Ellicott City business owner and amateur photographer wanted to learn the computer program Photoshop so he could play around with his pictures. That is why he spent a recent Thursday at Marriotts Ridge High School–where his daughter is a ninth-grader–doctoring a photo of Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

Schaffer followed along as two Marriotts Ridge students, juniors Patrick Talcott and Thomas Conchie, guided him through drawing a dotted line around Gates’ head, then dragging the head off Gates’ body. Five other students practiced with Photoshop techniques. One was working on a buck-toothed Bill Gates. Another gave Gates a mustache and goatee.

They were at the high school for Technology Thursdays. These after-school classes feature high school students teaching courses in Photoshop, game design, Web design and popular programs like MS Office. The classes are free and open to Marriotts Ridge students and community residents like Schaffer.

The teens teaching in the program have an interest and talent for technology, said Reg Hahne, the instructional team leader for Career Technology Education at the high school.”As a team we can do some really cool things. They have some abilities. I have the drive and passion to help them showcase their abilities,” Hahne said.

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