Taking apart a large scanner, full of hidden screws.
On Saturday, May 3, 2014, Nova Labs opened its doors for another popular “Take Apart Day,” with an added bonus, thanks to a grant from the STEM Innovation Lab of the Community Foundation of Northern Virginia and the Moore Family Foundation: We hosted the PEARLS—a 5th-8th-grade girls group based in Herndon, VA.
The PEARLS are a group hosted at Cornerstones (formerly Reston Interfaith), one of Reston/Herndon’s leading social service nonprofits providing, among many other things, after-school enrichment to students who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford it.
“What does the club name (PEARLS) mean?” we asked the girls.
Pride in ourselves
Encourage one another
Always do our best
Realize the importance of education
Love to learn new things
Serve our community.
In addition to attending Take Apart Day, focused on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), the PEARLS activities run the gamut from a book club, service-learning partnerships with other local groups, and art projects.
So….What’s a Take Apart Day? Nova Lab volunteers collect non-functioning computers, scanners, and copiers to show the girls—and the larger Nova Lab community—what makes it all tick.
Being able to use tools safely is the first step. It’s key to opening up these devices and learning about their mechanisms and how they work.
The goal is to inspire tinkering and to feed the girls’ natural curiosity, encouraging them to touch, try, and explore. And next time they find something broken at their house, they very well may be able to fix it!
“They loved the day,” reported volunteer Sarah Newman. “On the bus ride home, all they talked about was when they’d come next time.“
Studying the innards of a large copier.
Arabella working as part of the big copier teardown team.
Removing a printed circuit board (PCB) for study.
Overview of one of the Nova Labs classrooms/work areas.
Samantha working on one of several keyboards. We’ll spell “Nova Labs” out.
Brian showing the cut (and blood) resulting from rigid plastic fighting back.