Thursday, September 14, 2017

Toby is a problem solver

Today's crumb summarizes an article by Brittani Howell of Bloomington, Indiana. It appeared in the Herald-Times. Toby Thomassen was finishing sixth grade last spring at University Elementary School when his teacher asked the class to complete a "capstsone" project -- identify a real-world issue and think if ways to solve it. Toby didn't just write a report. He took the assignment literally. He realized children in foster care seldom have laptops, so he began buying old laptops from Indiana University Surplus for $10-$15 each, the market for scrap. He took them home, tore them apart, swapped out damaged parts, loaded them with free software, and delivered them to Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), who give them to kids in need.

                                                                                                Alex McIntyre /Herald-Times
This is not hard for Toby. He built his own 3-D printer in fourth grade, and his own computer in fifth grade. He has restored 10 laptops since he started earlier this year, and he's not finished yet.  Now a seventh grader at Jackson Creek Middle School, he hopes to expand his project by finding a corporate sponsor and maybe starting a club to teach other kids how to build computers. He hopes more laptops will find their way into the hands of foster kids, and not go the landfill.

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