> Education Commons > 2016-06

Hardware Project

Working in teams, you’ll explore the physical components of a computer. Your final product will be a validated, standards-compliant website which documents your exploration with an interesting and educational story; the story will use the terms of the basic computer glossary, basic network glossary, and other terms. Work will be evaluated according to this markscheme.

Step 0: Priming the pump

Watch Jayme Gutierrez’s musical revelation that sometimes it’s a lot more complicated than you’d think to clean a laptop’s fan!

Step 1: Division into teams

Divide yourselves into exploration teams of 5 or 6 students (class A: 4 teams; class C: 5 teams). Each exploration team will be responsible for writing its own text and code, and for acquiring its own still and (optional) moving images.

Note that video production requires a lot of time. If you decide to include moving images in your story, you are encouraged—but not required—to concentrate your efforts on a curated collection of still images presented with the Ken Burns effect.

Step 2: Planning

  1. Brainstorm and discuss possible story lines.
  2. Sketch the outline of your story: characters, setting, plot, conflict, resolution. You may find this brief summary Adobe Reader icon helpful.
  3. Discuss possible styles, for your website, which will complement your story.

Step 3: Adoption

  1. Adopt a system unit and monitor.
  2. Obtain the requisite supplies from the Computing Clubhouse.
  3. Find and download the manufacturer’s technical manuals for your system unit. Ensure that each team member has her/his own copy of the manuals.
  4. Document the technical specifications of your equipment for inclusion within your story.

Step 4: Examination

  1. As instructed in class, attempt to boot your system unit on the WAN.
  2. Download the Test Document and document your equipment’s ability to display it.
  3. Document your equipment’s ability to request and display the HTML Test Document.

Step 5: Tear-down and build-up

If you are uncertain at any time, ask before you act!

  1. Use the technical manuals to plan the tear-down of your system unit. Note: the monitor will not be torn down.
  2. Disassemble the system unit and, in your notes, describe each part.
  3. Take care to secure all connectors, cables, clips, screws, and other small components.
  4. Take many, many photos so that you’ll have lots of raw material for your website.
  5. Take particular care with the CPU and RAM: their ribbon connectors are easily broken.
  6. Note again: Take particular care with the CPU and RAM. Their ribbon connectors are easily broken.
  7. Do not separate the CPU from its heat sink.
  8. Note again: Do not separate the CPU from its heat sink.
  9. Once the system-unit shell has been emptied, document this fact and gain approval from your teacher.
  10. Rebuild the system unit.
  11. Take many, many photos so that you’ll have lots of raw material for your website.

If you are uncertain at any time, ask before you act!

Step 6: Storage & clean-up

Return your hardware and supplies to the Computing Clubhouse and Engineering Lab as appropriate. Restore the lab to its normal configuration.

Step 7: Documentation

  1. Polish your team’s validated, standards-compliant website.
  2. Post your website on the World Wide Web.
  3. Mark your website according to the markscheme.
  4. Mark the website of two other teams.
  5. Submit in writing the link to your website, your team’s self-evaluation, and the evaluation of the two other teams’ websites.


Each team will be provided the following supplies: > Education Commons > 2016-06

[This page last updated 2016-06-04 at 19h40 Toronto local time.]