4 min read

Strive High School Students Learn How to Build PCs!

john bowne pc building workshop

Our Strive program at John Bowne High School in Flushing recently held a PC Building workshop where 15 students learned how to build a custom PC!

Facilitated by Program Coordinator Jessie Ambrosio and John Bowne IT Director Armend Kelmendi, the workshop taught Strive program participants of varying experience levels the fundamentals of PC building including how to choose parts, how to budget for your build, techniques and important knowledge for building. Students were supervised and given directions but were also given enough freedom to troubleshoot and problem solve on their own.

During this workshop students learned:


strive john bowne high pc buildingProblem Solving skills – At first they didn’t get a boot screen. Students spent time thinking about this problem. Finally, Haniel realized that the problem was that the CPU did not have integrated graphics! The CPU was probably working but we needed a dedicated graphics card in order to see text or images on the screen. After the GPU was installed, the boot screen appeared on the monitor. The tension in the room was thick while we waited for the boot screen to appear.  All of us stared intently at the black screen for what felt like full minutes until finally we saw a blinking underscore appear. Students immediately filled the room with loud cheers of “LET’S GO!” and “OMG We did it!”


john bowne strive pc building

Teamwork and Communications skills – Throughout the process of building, students had to assist each other with adding new components. For example, while Bryant installed the GPU into the motherboard, Aaron assisted with locking it into the case with screws. If the GPU was installed improperly or with too much force they could cause damage to the parts. The students operated with caution, they communicated with each other as clearly and efficiently as possible to avoid mistakes.


john bowne strive pc buildingTaking Pride in Your Work and Patience – Every PC builder knows about the importance of cable management. After 2 days and 5 plus hours of building and troubleshooting, our students were anxious to get the PC case on and to proudly display the completed project. Jessie and Armend reminded the students of all of the hard work and time the students invested in this project. Ultimately, our students understood the value of taking the time to arrange the cables in a thoughtful way that made the appearance of the inside of the PC to look clean and organized. The students were given credit for their work after the PC was built. Jessie created flyers posted on the PC that showed which students built the PC. After the glass was put back on, the students looked inside and told us that they were glad they took the time to cable manage even though it was a frustrating process, it was totally worth it and they were proud to share with other Strivers that they were responsible for this build.


john bowne students pc building

Building Confidence – Several of our students had never built a PC before. They were nervous. Building a PC can be intimidating for novice builders. Students knew that if some mistakes were made, then components could be damaged and they did not want to be responsible for that. The more experienced student builders encouraged those students to have more confidence. They explained to them that it was fine to use a certain amount of pressure but not too much. “You got this!” said experienced builder, Isaiah, to a nervous student whose hand shook while he screwed in the motherboard. Afterwards, the student said “I was nervous to screw up (no pun intended) but now I realize that it’s not too bad and I can do this.”


bowne strive pc buildingBuilding Interest in STEM Careers – Some students discussed their plans or interest to become engineers, software engineers, architects or go into construction while others shared that they simply had curiosity about the field of technology and were hoping to learn more in this workshop. Many questions were directed at Armend, the John Bowne HS IT director. He was able to share his personal experience and provide guidance to students who had questions about career paths.


For more information about our Strive program at John Bowne High School, visit our website or contact Jessie Ambrosio at jambrosio@commonpointqueens.org.