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Deep understanding of how computers work


Deep understanding of how computers work


In a school where pupils use a personal tablet or laptop in every lesson, Grade 7 pupils in technology lessons disassemble computing devices to learn about the parts that make up a working device. Working in groups, the pupils search the internet for information in English about the different components and how they work, how they benefit the device and what they are made of. The projects are also shown to the school community during Project Week events. They prepare and make a presentation in English. They sort the working components in the dismantled device and use them for other projects.

Technologies classes for middle school students.

Maximum number of students: 10-20

Equipment needed:

• Old computer for disassembly

• Disassembly kit (tools)

• Internet for research

• Computer for presentation


• disassembling a computer

• Working in groups

• information research and preparation of presentations

• presenting your research in front of class

Results achieved:

• combining theoretical and practical knowledge

• Students will learn what materials a computer/laptop/tablet is made of and know the technical terms.

• what is the technical working principle of a computer/laptop/tablet

• the knowledge gained will be a background for further study in computer science.

• Students will be able to understand the principles of operation and safety requirements and will be able to properly assess the severity of a computer malfunction if it happend in future.

• Preparation and presentation of a presentation


• need to have old computers/laptops/tablets for disassembly

• some technical terminology is complex

• safety requirements need to be properly explained so that they don't start dismantling and damaging equipment in the home, or injure themselves

Areas of improvement:

• older students, or more advanced students, could build their own computers or other working devices from a selection of components

• integrated projects with physics or geography on sustainably sustainable energy topics

• Collaborative projects with a modelling class or robotics academy