Friday, 17 May 2024

Project PC donates computers to new users

MIDDLETOWN – A group of industrious high schoolers and their teacher want to make sure that anyone who needs a computer gets one.


Project PC, a division of the Earth and Spacial Technology (EAST) class at Middletown High School, is offering free computers to community members, according to teacher and EAST Advisor Dan Renninger.


The only requirement is that those who apply for the computers can't already own one, and must sign the Project PC Terms of Agreement. In return the group will provide a refurbished computer, a 20-minute lesson teaching new computer owners how to set up and use the machines, and an informational pamphlet.


The computers come complete with an installed copy of Windows 2000 Pro, OpenOffice 2.3, anti-spyware software and a variety of other programs that are useful during everyday computer use, Renninger explained.


Project PC formally got started during this school year. “This is the first year we were able to do it successfully and get it off the ground,” said Middletown High senior Bobby Oertel, who is leading the student project.


Currently six students – three seniors and three freshmen – spend about four hours a week – in addition to extra time on their own, refurbishing computers or helping with other tech issues around the school and, as a result, saving the school a lot of money, said Renninger.


“This was a student-initiated project,” he said. “They felt there was a need in the community to provide technology for people.”


He added, “They had skills with computer and they felt that they could give back.”


Oertel added that it's a chance for the seniors to share their knowledge with the younger students.


He said Project PC so far has given away 15 computers to individuals, and another eight have been put to work in the Minnie Cannon Elementary School library, where they replaced older computers.


Renninger said Redbud Community Hospital donated about 70 older computers to the effort. “That's the biggest batch we've received.”


In addition, Langtry Estate and Vineyard also has promised another set of computers, said Renninger.


The challenge now, said Oertel, is getting the word out. They have plenty of computers ready and can have many more – as many as 50 – prepared for new homes within a week.


Renninger said his students are working hard and doing a great job. “They're good kids, they've got good hearts.”


Added Oertel, “It's just a great way to help the community.”


It's not only a great community service, but an excellent way for the students to hone their skills in preparation for careers in information technology, said Renninger.


Oertel said he's planning to pursue a career in the technology field.


Project PC also is accepting more computer donations, either PC or Macintosh – anything community members or businesses want to donate, said Renninger.


He added that any materials they can't use will be recycled.


For more information about the free computers or to donate machines contact Dan Renninger at 987-4140, Extension 4010.


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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