STEP Reporting Back

Name: Nicholas Beutel

Type of Project: Creative Endeavor

  1. Please provide a brief description of your STEP Signature Project.

For my STEP signature Project, I designed and built a computer.  To start, I researched what components a computer needs, and the requirements for them to function together.  After that, I had to assemble the parts in order to create a working computer.

  1. What about your understanding of yourself, your assumptions, or your view of the world changed/transformed while completing your STEP Signature Project?

When I began my project, I underestimated the amount of variety and work required for choosing parts for a computer.  Through this project, I learned great deal regarding computers and how they function.  I learned about the relationship between different components, and how the connections between these parts operated and led to the computer functioning properly.  This project also helped me to become a more determined and persistent in general.  I faced a few struggle while completing my project, but had to stay focused and continue working hard to solve them.

It has always been fun and interesting to me to undertake projects and this experience was no different. Completing this project has opened my mind to a new branch of hobbies and activities relating to computers and technology; a field will only continue to grow as technological advances continue in our society, This project has fueled my interest in technology and was an excellent creative experience that has taught me a lot.

  1. What events, interactions, relationships, or activities during your STEP Signature Project led to the change/transformation that you discussed in #2, and how did those affect you?

When deciding on a project, and also after having done so I discussed a lot about my project with a friend of mine who also happened to be doing a very project.  We would talk about our ideas what different aspects of our builds, including what parts to use and methods of assembly.  I also received help from this person when I was having struggles with my project.  I think that having someone who I was able to discuss my project with helped the project to be a transformational experience, because I was able to more fully invest myself in the project, allowing me to get the most value from my experience.

Coming into the project, I had an interest in computers and technology and in knowing how they work, but I did not much about any of this and during my experience I learned much more than I expected.  I went from knowing a few of the different parts of a computer, to knowing all of them and what the function of each is.  I also know how the connections amongst them and even some of the parts’ components work to make the computer function properly.  This knowledge that I gained has only furthered my interest in the field and I plan to continue to learn more.

I faced one major problem while completing my project that forced me to be hardworking and also to think critically.  The first problem I faced was when dealing with the CPU cooler.  The fans and radiator that went along with it did not fit properly in the stand I had purchased, even though the sizing listed on the packaging for both matched up. As a result, I had to come up with a way to get the parts to fit.  I struggled for several days and thought I would have to purchase a different cooler, but I continued to search for a solution.  After a lot of work, I was able to rewire certain parts and change the positioning of the fans and radiator to get the parts to fit. I had expected the assembly of the computer to be an easier task than it turned out to be and as a result I saw the importance of remaining determined and finishing a task.

  1. Why is this change/transformation significant or valuable for your life?

As someone studying engineering, I will see the progression of technology firsthand.  For me to have an interest in this is important as it allows me to have an understanding of current advancements.  A newfound greater interest in this area will help me continue to stay up to date on new technologies, including those which I may have to use in the future.  Additionally, in the remainder of my studies and in my career afterword, I will face struggles and times when giving up will seem like the best option, but I will understand the importance of staying motivated and continuing to put my best effort into everything I do.

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