Dean of Engineering Helps Don Moyer Boys and Girls Club Kids Learn About "Computer Guts"

3/31/2011

Urbana, Ill. — On Thursday, March 31, 2011, Dean Ilesanmi Adesida of the University of Illinois’ College of Engineering visited the Don Moyer Boys and Girls Club in Champaign to help teach middle and high school teens about computers and how they work in a lesson intriguingly titled “Computer Guts.”  

During the Dean’s visit, Don Moyer Boys and Girls Club members learned to take apart and reassemble a functioning computer and also got to fry an egg on its processor to learn how much heat the electronics components generate. After the lesson, the Dean spoke to the kids about the importance of education and shared his personal story of how, even though his parents never went to school, he was able to go to college and become an engineering professor.

This "Computer Guts" lesson was developed by two graduate students as part of a new course in the Physics Department that provides training in K–12 educational outreach to science and engineering graduate students. An integral part of the course is teaching the lessons developed during the course to teens at the Don Moyer Boys and Girls Club.

The lessons at Don Moyer focus on different topics each week. The teens there have made key chains of their own DNA, built capacitors to study static electricity, and made bioreactors to learn about biofuels.

The course is a part of the iRISE Project at the University of Illinois, which is funded by the University of Illinois Graduate College Focal Point Initiative and The Center for the Physics of Living Cells.

The iRISE partnership aims to stimulate middle- and high-school students’ interest in pursuing technical careers by involving Illinois science and engineering graduate students in an innovative program that gives them the hands-on experience in K–12 teaching and lesson development needed to build and maintain successful University/K–12 educational partnerships. The course is directed by the CPLC K–12 outreach coordinator, Sharlene Denos.

For more information, see the iRISE website, the I-STEM website, and several other iRISE news stories here.