Hands-On Computing: Making Your Home Computer Work For You
Project Challenge, Spring 2011
Project Challenge is a program in the winter months that brings area
high school students to campus on Saturday mornings for 5 weeks to
study a course of their choice. For the sixth year, a course
is being offered in the Clarkson University Internet Teaching Laboratory (ITL)
called "Hands-On Computing: Making Your Home Computer Work For You". This year's course will be taught by Dr. Jeanna Matthews , a computer science professor and Wenjin Hu , a computer science Ph.D. student.
Official Course Description
- Class Topics
- Day 1 - Programming Basics
- Day 2 - Computer Hardware, Building Your Own, Install OS, Live CDs
- Day 3 - Overview, Network Trace Analysis, Security
- Day 4 - Databases and SQL, Practical Personal Databases
- Day 5 - Open Source Software, Computer Careers
- Day 1 - Programming, Linux and Open Source
The students will learn about programming languages and open source software.
Wikipedia: Source Code
Wikipedia: Hello World Program
Linux Kernel Source
Wikipedia: GNU General Public License
- Day 2 - Computer Hardware, Build Your Own, Take Apart Computer
The students will learn about basic computer hardware including how to compare computer specs to determine which to buy, how to take one apart to replace or upgrade pieces and how to build one from parts. We will also install some operating systems and discuss the basics of connecting a computer to the Internet ( e.g. DHCP and DNS).
What's inside your computer? Building and Working on your own computer (Open Office)
- Day 3 - BIOS, Live CD, Virtual Machines, Install Software
Students will learn how to explore the BIOS on their computer and how to run a LiveCD. They will download and burn their own CD. Students will also install an OS into a virtual machine and learn to install new software packages under Linux.
- Day 4 - Network Trace Analysis, Security, Wireless
The students will learn about network tracing and network security. We will also connect to a webserver via telnet and learn a little about the HTTP protocol and explore the interface of a wireless access point.
Useful tools: ping, traceroute, netstat -an, Windows Task Manager
Auditing your computer, establishing a "baseline"/looking for suspicious differences
- Day 5 - Webservers, Databases and SQL, Computing Careers
Students will learn how to run their own webserver and how to create a simple web page. The students will learn about organizing data and designing, implementing, and querying databases. Students will learn to use OpenOffice for simple personal databases.
Useful links for Day 5:
- Other Topics - Computer Careers, More Programming, HTML Web Pages, Revolution OS
We will also talk about computer science as a career and watch a great movie, Revolution OS. Students will have a chance to build a webpages in HTML if they want. They will also learn how to create HTML forms and how to edit pictures using the GIMP.
Some useful HTML links :
Getting Started with HTML (Dave Raggett)
Advanced HTML Features (Dave Raggett)
HTML tutorial at W3Schools (Good reference)
- Consider a Career in Computer Science!
Occupational Outlook Handbook
Fastest growing occupations
A Bachelors Degree in Computer Science would prepare you for 5 of the top 30!
Money Magazine's Best Jobs in America 2010