Yesterday, we had a Computer Deconstruction program scheduled at the library to be run by TechShop.
I found out fifteen minutes before the program was to start that they weren’t coming.
That was the potential disaster. Here are all the happy coincidences:
- This is the only TechShop program that doesn’t use their fancy equipment. For this one, they do bring lots of screwdrivers and automatic screwdrivers. They also bring old computers. But this one was not dependent on their equipment. I looked in our supply cabinet, and we did have two toolboxes with lots of screwdrivers. We had been collecting broken electronics from the staff for months and even had a laptop computer and a notebook computer.
- I’ve seen this program done twice before. I knew that mainly the facilitators cheer the kids on and encourage them to figure out how to get the machines apart.
- For some reason my co-worker Amanda was scheduled to host the program with me. (Usually we only have one host scheduled when a performer is coming.) So I didn’t have to scramble to get some help. The two of us together could run the program!
- One of the mothers of the kids who came happened to have an old computer in her car!
- If I had found out they weren’t coming sooner, I might have been tempted to cancel. As it was, the kids were arriving — and we did the program.
And it was awesome!
I love this program because I love watching the kids figure out how the things are put together and succeed in taking them apart. It’s empowering!
(In fact, I like to tell the story that it was because of this very program that I dared to look up youtube videos and take apart my own film scanner and fix it!)
Here’s a girl working on a printer:
And here’s how the printer ended up:
Thanks to all those happy coincidences and awesome kids, the program was a huge success!
We think we’ll probably plan to do one on our own next summer!