Marble Valley students bring computer to life

Seventh-graders Jordan Tirona, Madison Ridolfi, Deniz Sert and Sadie Porter help build the computer dying a special class at Marble Valley Academy earlier this year. Courtesy photo
Kevin Saunders
Athletic Director
Marble Valley Academy

Before the final school bell rang, some Marble Valley students enjoyed the hands-on opportunity to build a computer.

The project started as an idea from their computer teacher Josh Kneeland. He proposed the idea to Principal Gwen Andrus, who loved it and relayed the request to the members of the board. After the approval,Kneeland began his work to prepare sixth, seventh and eighth-grade students for the upcoming project.

Many assignments and projects were created, from teaching students how to search and find computer components, to identifying what each part of the computer does. While the students were busy with their work, Kneeland was designing the computer on Newegg, a website known for its reduced prices and customer reviews of computer parts. Kneeland did his research finding computer parts that would not only suit the project but would remain within a budget. After some time, the computer design was created and the parts were ordered.

The day of the project, the students were able to get hands-on, four at a time, while their computer teacher supervised. They shared mixed feelings about touching the computer parts.

“I don’t want to break it.” said one worried eighth-grader.

“This is awesome,” another student shared.

After each rotation, Kneeland would disassemble the parts and allow more students the opportunity of building the computer. Each group of students had their picture taken to be displayed on the computer’s screen. At the end of the day, Kneeland and several students stayed to finish plugging in the final cabling and computer components required to start the machine.

After everything was installed, the computer hummed to life. The case lights up with a blue glow and has a window allowing students to peer inside while the computer is running. Though the school primarily uses Macintosh operating system, this computer was installed with Windows 7 Home Premium.

For now, the computer rests in the school’s computer lab, available for use to students who are curious to explore the Windows operating system or the computer itself. There has been some discussion on having the computer displayed for all future generations to admire; however, it hasn’t been determined as of yet.

The computer is a symbol of the students at Marble Valley Academy putting their curiosity, knowledge, teamwork, and excitement together to create a working piece of hardware. MVA expects this computer to last several years.

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Posted by on Jun 22 2014.
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