Updated: Jul 17, 2019
STEM Camp 2019 - Session 1, Day 1 = FUN!
Day one of any program or class is what most would consider to be the most boring of all days. However, that was definitely not the case for the first day of the NSED Academy STEM Camp 2019 held at Virginia Union University. In many cases, day one is filled with boring information that many students would care less to hear about, such as what the program or class consists of and what is expected of them. For the students attending the NSED Academy, they did receive that information, but they also encountered an unexpected challenge for the first day. The students were tasked with dismantling a computer.
After saying their goodbyes to their parents and introducing themselves, the students got right to work. The director of the Academy, Dease Moore, gave them the instruction to dismantle the computer sitting in front of them. To the students, this was very unexpected, and for many of them, they had never seen the inside of a computer before. The students were given a screwdriver, an extendable magnetic rod, an anti-static wristband, and a few minutes to take everything out of the computers.
Once they dismantled their computers, Mr. Moore began to name those same parts they removed from their machines. From a simple fan, to the processor, the students learned about their computers and what was needed to make sure they run properly. Once they learned about the parts, they were then tasked with correctly putting them back together. After reassembling their computers, they had to test them and make sure they functioned correctly. Many of the students’ computers did not work right away, while only two students had a functioning computer. A functioning computer meant that the system was able to boot up and get to the login screen. Throughout the week, however, students will be able to fix their computers, all while getting a better understanding of what each component does.
Near the end of the day, Katina Moss, an educator by trade and the academy’s Education Director, took over and made sure the students received cross-curricular instruction for the day. Students were able to engage with a guest speaker by the name of John Ainsworth, President and CEO of CU Ledger, who works on developing electronic currency methods. His experience has ranged from debit card technology to bitcoin. Not only did Mr. Ainsworth come to speak to the students, he is also a leading sponsor for the STEM Camp this year. Students then learned about how important it is to take their education seriously and what workforce development means. They also got the chance to learn a little more about Virginia Union University, the historically black university where the NSED Academy is being held.The students were given information on the Richmond 34, who were students from Virginia Union University that participated in a nonviolent sit-in at a local department store in downtown Richmond.
As a senior at VUU, majoring in Computer Information Systems, these students really impressed me on the first day. Seeing them dismantle and reassemble their computers in such a short amount of time was incredible. When I first arrived at VUU as a freshman, I did not have any knowledge about the components in a computer. To know that these students will have this knowledge, and more before they even decide to attend college, is a great asset for them to have. When the day finally ended, it was safe to say that no student has ever had a first day quite like this one. With only nine days left in the academy, students are sure to be in for a few surprises.
Written and Photographed by Onnia Thomas
Majoring in Computer Information Systems, Onnia is a STEM Camp 2019 intern and rising senior at Virginia Union University.