FLOSS Desktops at Siena College STEM Camps

Last modified by Nick Carpinello on 2017.07.24 at 09:29:11 PDT

Staff and Materials


  • Tested all of the computers and monitors
  • Took inventory of computers, hard drives, RAM, motherboards, video cards, disk drives, power cables, mice, keyboards, and video cables
  • Made a list of sabotages for each computer  
  • Burned disks for DBAN and Ubuntu installation 

Day 1

The students started out with a pre-assessment and once they were finished, moved on to the MAKE worksheets.  Students worked MAKE 1 through MAKE 3 and were then given the computers.  Working in groups of three, with one mentor per group, each student followed the MAKE 4 page to troubleshoot what was preventing their computers from running.  After the computers were completely working, students moved on to MAKE 5 to explore the computer's BIOs and play with boot order.  Once the boot order was set, students could then load up Darik's Boot and Nuke (DBAN) CDs into their computers to wipe the hard drives, following the instructions on MAKE 6.  The students left the computers to wipe the hard drives overnight, since the process takes a while.

Day 2

When the students came in, they removed the DBAN disks and restarted their computers.  They were then given the Ubuntu installation disk and booted the computer to the disk to install the Ubuntu Operating System.  Students completed MAKE 8 while installing the OS.  After Ubuntu was installed, students followed MAKEs 9 to 11, exploring Linux and open source software.  At the end of class, students were allowed to look for more applications that could be used with Ubuntu.

Day 3

Students used Codecademy and worked through the first lesson of HTML for about an hour.  Once they were finished, students were allowed to create their own websites using HTML.  Students were given a few examples, made by the mentors and they could use MAKE 12 as a reference. They were also allowed to present their creations to the class.

Day 4 (Final day)

Students played games designed to increase knowledge of the Linux/Ubuntu terminal and its commands. VIM Adventures and Nethack for learning commands in VI/VIM, and OverTheWire for learning Terminal commands. Students could also play Zork through the Terminal.

After completing a post-assessment (same as pre-assessment from Day 1), students were sent home with their computers (minus the ethernet cables).

Final suggestions

  • Update pre/post-assessment
    • with what?
  • Edit lesson plans to match MAKE worksheets
    • Lessons plans suggest giving them computers at the beginning of MAKE 1, which is when the students should just be thinking and theorizing
  • More sabotages (at least 2)
    • alternatively, have computers completely disassembled so the students have to fill gaps in their knowledge to get the computer running
  • Update word bank MAKE 3
  • Spend more time on hardware
    • kids at this camp were mostly looking for something to teach them what they would need to build a gaming PC, software and coding came second
  • We need a little more structure on day 2/ maybe switch day 2 and 4
    • don't let them install Steam or anything not FLOSS until the very end
  • Make our own HTML/CSS lesson instead of online
    • maybe a brief step-by-step walkthrough of the basic HTML tags?
  • Find more terminal based games to teach terminal commands
  • Add Terminus to list of games

Google drive with documents and pictures

Final notes and reflections

Created by Lindsay Clark on 2017.07.03 at 11:59:18 PDT

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