ICT: Year 8 PC Dissections

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Year 8 Computer Science students at Bede's Prep School have been learning about the inner workings of the modern PC this term, dissecting computers to determine what goes on beneath those dull metallic shells...

In Computer Science at the moment we are discussing the role of the processor, the hard drive, the RAM, the motherboard, the power supply and the optical drives in personal computers.

As part of this, the children have had the chance to extract and examine these components themselves.

The machines used are ex-school workstations destined for recycling, but before they are sent to "silicon heaven", they provide one last service to the school in helping to educate young minds, keen to explore the technical side of our subject.

Our practical work will lead on to a basic understanding the inner workings of the "brain" of the computer - the processor - during which we will examine the binary language it uses and start to appreciate the extraordinary calculative power within.

I was extremely happy to find that the children were extremely excited by this exercise, although I was not surprised! Give a child the right tools, whether it be a pen or indeed a screwdriver, and they will learn.

Give a child a computer to take apart with that screwdriver meanwhile and they will discover a truly fascinating world that the exterior shell of the average PC works extremely hard to hide...

Peter Barclay

Head of ICT and Computing

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