OSKALOOSA — Teens gathered at the Oskaloosa Public Library Monday night to take old computers apart and learn how they work.
The Tech Take Apart event was the start of Teen Tech Week at the library and each teen present was responsible for figuring out how to assemble and dissemble computers piece-by-piece.
Oskaloosa Public Library Director William Ottens discussed the event and its purpose.
“It is a learning experience. What we have going on, is a part of teen week here at the library. It is also kind of a national week sponsored by the Young Adult Library Association to promote technology and learning,” Ottens said.
He said that what makes the program unique is the fact that it is not typical for teens to have the opportunity to experiment with things that they normally would not be able to do.
“A lot of times, we don't usually let people take things apart here at the library. So, I think that makes it unique. It is also unique because it is a once a year thing,” Ottens said.
Ottens explained that there were no rewards for assembling and dissembling the computers, except for the fact that they get the satisfaction of knowing that they can do it.
Ottens said this was the second year for the event. However, if all goes well, they might do it again in the future.
Teens who showed up for the event on Monday were deep in concentration as they worked on the task at hand.
One teen, Ethan Doak, 15, said that he had some experience dealing with computers because he had a relative that has some involvement with computers.
“My Dad does a lot working with Mac computers," Doak said.
Doak also said that he participated in the event when it was held last year.
“I took one apart last year and that would be my only experience,” he said.
Noah Moore, 12, was also there focused on the task.
Although he said that this was his first time working on computers, he did say that he liked to take things apart.
“I like to take things apart because it is fun,” Moore said.
Ottens explained that he sits on the Teen Advisory Board where he brainstorms ideas for upcoming events, and this was one of those events.
“This in one that the board expressed an interest in repeating,” Ottens said.
In terms of how many individuals were expected to show, Ottens gave his estimate, including an estimate for how many retired computers would be used for the demonstration.
“This year, we have four computers for them with the idea that they (teens) work in small groups,” Ottens said.
“We can expect typically anywhere from 10-15, but sometimes, there could be two or three,” he added.
He explained that once the computers are retired the library does get reimbursed.
“Usually, with the computers, we do get permission from the city to have them recycled and when we recycle, the place that we take them to does give us some funding back,” he said.
City Editor Jonathan R. Pitman can be reached by email at email@example.com