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Students Open Machines & Discover

February 8th, 2016

Arlington Heights, IL – Parents always warn kids to be careful and handle any electronics delicately.

So, one can imagine the excitement the second graders at Windsor Elementary School felt last week when they were told they were going to crack open simple machines and electronics to discover what was inside.

Take Apart Day was the culminating project for the weeklong science campaign of motion where students were able to goggle up and strip down a variety of older, simple machines donated by District 25’s tech department, and parents and families of the second graders.

“We talked about simple machines last week,” second grade teacher Miss Loch said. “We asked ourselves, ‘How do the pieces inside make this machine work?’”

Students were eager to discover first hand, what machines such as, hard drives, VCR’s, Keurig’s, monitors, remotes, keyboards, and more looked like inside. Their first task was to open them up, which turned out to be harder than anticipated.

“I wanted to see how it worked from the bottom,” one student said when asked why he started to unscrew the bottom of an older camcorder.

Students, assisted and supervised by staff members and volunteer parents, strategically attacked this Take Apart Projectwith tools such as screwdrivers to finally open their machines and discover what makes it work.

“I wanted to see how this [hard drive] stores data,” second grader Grant said as he released each screw, hoping to liberate a small CD from the hard drive.

Students shared tools and ideas with one another about how to take apart their machines and what parts they should save.

“In order to figure out how to take their machines apart, they have to figure out what the maker(s) did to put it together,” Loch said. “It’s awesome to see the kids think backwards on this process.”

Each student received their own machine and a plastic bag to keep the spare parts in. In the following weeks, students are going to take those spare parts to art class, and make something out of them.

“We are going to build a racetrack with our extra items,” Grant said.

The second grade parents and staff at Windsor had a fun week pulling machines apart, together.

Adam Harris