Working as the Director of Tech support at a school district every once in while I get to do something really fun. My school district is replacing its antiquated phone system with a state of the art over IP system, sort of like Vonage on steroids.
As my team was replacing the old phones, one of the teachers, Mrs. Day, asked me what would happen to them. I’ve been asked this question dozens of times so I had a pat answer that our new phone vendor would give us a rebate if the old phones were destroyed.
This is when Mrs. Day went from being a great teacher to an awesome teacher, because she asked if her third grade class could take them apart.
“Take them apart?” I asked her. She went on to tell me that as part of her “simple machines” curriculum she asks the parents to send their kids to school with any old VCR’s, toys, appliances etc. that they may have around the house. The kids then take those things apart using screwdrivers looking for simple machines like levers, gears, pulleys and whatnot.
At this point I am having flashbacks to my childhood of my father providing me with a never ending supply of things to take apart. I can directly trace those early exploits with a screwdriver to my career in tech today.
Of course, Mrs. Day has no knowledge of this and is really trying to sell me on the idea of each of her students having their own phone to take apart rather than having to share a toaster or something. I am however thinking third grader with a screw driver vs. a giant shredder, hmmm.
It is a rare, rare day when old technology isn’t just a burden to get rid of, and being able to give an old phone a second life as a teaching tool is just too great an opportunity to pass up. I agree that her third graders should have the phones and arrangements are made not to send them off to the shredder.
Mrs. Day became the awesome-est teacher when she invited me to help out in the class on destruction day. That was so much fun, twenty five or so excited 8-9 year old kids, each with their own phone and a screw driver.
As the kids started tearing them apart, I had an epiphany; everyone should take their old technology apart. Nothing demystifies technology more than fearlessly diving into the guts of it.
Kid, “What is that chip?”
Me, “I don’t know.”
Kid, “Is that real gold?”
Me, “Yes that is real gold.”
Kid, “WOW, Is it worth a lot of money?!”
Me, “Unfortunately, it’s not worth much money at all.” No the gold in the phone is next to worthless, but none the less it’s priceless.
If you have kids around the house, or you for that matter, go find some old broken pieces of technology and tear them apart. Who knows maybe another career in technology will be launched.
More great ideas!
- Retro Outdoor Time Important for Kids
- Obesity | Family Solutions to Combat the Problem
- Go Red | Draw The Line On Heart Disease
- Inspiration, Love and Determination
- Mother’s Day | Preserve Your Family Recipes
- Journal Your Way to Weight Loss
- Ideas and Inspiration for the Kitchen
- Earth Day: What Matters This Year
Written by Dean
Dean is known as the Tech Savvy Man (no cape yet but we are working on that.) If you have a technology problem he has the solution! Read more...