Sunday, May 26, 2013

Make an Inside Out Computer

For the end of the year my AP students are working on projects. This year I left it very open ended, use anything in the lab and just make something awesome.

They can make with code or something physical. I have students doing everything from a scratch version of Doom to building a cell phone signal amplifier.

One of my favorites at this point is this - the Inside-Out Computer. The parts are all recycled from a couple of old 486s that were donated. Once we can find a non USB mouse the plan is for them to load Linux on it.
I'm pretty excited about having this in the lab next year when we need to teach hardware. 

I am particularly excited about this for next year when we go over computer hardware. Having a running computer while you point out all the various parts and pieces seems like it will be very helpful.

Basically they're attached all the parts to an old plastic crate using zip ties. The have booted it up several times and it works perfectly, except for the no mouse thing.

We have five weeks from the AP exam until the end of the school year, which is a lot of time to fill. In order to get grades on the books I give them a daily Ted Talk to watch and respond to on a discussion board. More on that later.

Update: Another student turned in their final project today. It is a bike with a chainsaw motor added to make a moped. Did all the welding themselves. I was kind of expecting a poster, then they rolled this in:


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