Experience 43 of 52: Computers 101

After a visit with Pop-Pop, we usually feel pretty “caught up” on what’s new in the field of technology.  Pop-Pop’s visit this time was especially educational as he suggested to the girls that we take apart our old computer (considered to be Kate’s main computer).  The girls were intimidated at first but with a little nudge they were up for it.

As it turned out, it was not only educational but we were able to repair the computer’s sometimes wacky behavior which we chalked up to the 8 years plus worth of dust contained inside the box.  Each card was removed (by the girls taking turns) as Pop-Pop described what each card’s function is.  Then comparing which piece of hardware was plugged into the rear of the computer into that card (monitor, power cord, mouse, speakers) the girls were able to see that behind the outer shell, it all boils down to two things … electronics and engineering.  Watching the girls experience this reminded me of Dorothy’s discovery that “the man behind the curtain” was not as great and powerful as she had originally thought … AND that one drop of water could destroy all of that power in an instant.

The second part of this experience was the exposure to the Raspberry Pi computer that Pop-Pop brought for us to test out.  With Pop-Pop’s Raspberry Pi coupled with our existing hardware, we were able to boot up the computer and run Minecraft as well as the Scratch program.  Our next projects include setting up our own purchased Raspberry Pi and teach programming using Scratch (which the girls are already thrilled about learning).

Thankfully the girls have some awesome role models in the area of technology and computer exploration including cousin EJ for introducing the girls to Minecraft and Pop-Pop for introducing them to the world of the Raspberry Pi!!

Raspberry Pi:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raspberry_Pi

Scratch Programming:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scratch_(programming_language)

Mincraft:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minecraft

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