The Computer’s Innerds

This week, one of our IT people, Aaron, came in to show students what makes up a computer. We’ve been studying natural resources during our unit on “How We Organize Ourselves,” and we started off the unit by thinking about where our “stuff” comes from.

Looking Inside a computer

Students, fascinated by the computer, wrote down that a computer has plastic and some metal, but they couldn’t figure out what else was inside the computer. So, we thought we’d take a look.

Examining motherboards

With an old computer in hand, Aaron came in with screwdrivers, and students began to dismantle the laptop. Out came the battery, the memory, the keyboard and then the entire back to reveal a lot of tiny compact boards with small pinpricks of copper that make it all work.

Unlocking the computer

Half an hour later, about 90% of the class was still fascinated by small wires and dots that looked like people. Recess came, and a small group of girls and boys stayed to take apart the screen and see the tiny camera. A lot of wows, oohs, aahs and the desire to take home souvenirs.

That's What's Inside

From there, we jumped into looking at where all that copper comes from in the world, everything that is made from copper, and some cons of mining for copper. An interesting spark.

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