Category Archives: science

Explaining the internals of a computer to 9-year olds

About a week ago I organized a workshop on the internals of a computer as part of the UniJunior project that i have been involved with for a couple of years now. While this was not the first workshop I have been responsible for, it was the first one for which I had created most of the content on my own—which made it that much more nerve-wracking. Luckily the coordinator for UniJunior and the assistants we hired for the workshop were really great (as always).

The 3 hour long workshop was divided into two parts. The first part was spent discussing what a computer is, the kids had a number of differing opinions on that front (can a playstation be considered to be a computer? How bout a tractor?). Afterwards we then opened up a desktop computer, a laptop and an iPhone and looked at which parts they contain.

After a light snack, the second half of the workshop was spent on an exercise designed to simulate the cycle that a processor of a computer performs. Those of you who know Swedish can read detailed instructions on .

While the overall opinion of the task was positive, it did suffer a bit from the fact that most parts of the processor spend most of their time doing nothing :). Luckily the tables on the mother card could be drawn on.

I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to everyone who helped with the workshop! Hopefully we will get the opportunity to do it again in the fall. If you have a Swedish-speaking child of ages 6-9 or know of someone who does, I strongly recommend the UniJunior workshops. All of them are well organized, fun, and inspiring!