Phase 5.1 - Disassemble and Reflect – Piper


Lesson Time:
45 to 60 minutes



Throughout the Piper learning experience, students have explored the basic concepts of electronics and coding as well as extended their understanding and applied it to engineering design.

To conclude the Piper learning experience, students can work together to disassemble their Piper Computers using the blueprint and inventory checklist, reflect on their learning, and understand the context of computers in the world around them.

Their final lesson in the Piper Curriculum is to redesign the kit based on what they have learned in the prior phases as well as the environmental impacts, daily use, and design thinking principles they have just learned.

In this lesson, students will collaborate to deconstruct their Piper Computer Kits, take inventory, and reflect on their experiences learning with Piper. Students will revisit concepts from Phase 1 to evaluate how much they now know about computing systems and their components.







Healthcare Professional

Information Technology Specialist


Students have now explored and learned many basic concepts of computers, electronics and coding. In this lesson, students learn to take apart their Piper Computers, evaluate their efforts, collaborate and reflect on their learning.





Reflect on a good maker mindset, including recycling, reusing, and conserving resources.



Practice and reflect upon techniques for IT troubleshooting.


Design and implement organizational systems.



Classify parts by shape and function for reuse.



Learn to think like an engineer who prototypes ideas, tests, then reflects on challenges and opportunities.


Practice communication and teamwork skills in constructive critique, iterative feedback loops for better designs, and personal reflection.



  • Suggested student to Piper Computer ratio is 2:1 up to 3:1. Assign students into groups of 2 or 3.

  • Share the Graphic Organizer with students.
  • Project or share slides with students.


Introduction (10-20 minutes)

  1. Have students draw on a sheet of paper what they think the components of a computer are after building and playing Piper. Pair share with a partner. Then call on a few teams to share out. *

  2. Unless there is something else planned for your class, give students free time or have students share some of their reflection points.

  3. Address misconceptions from previous lesson and announce that today they will be taking apart the kits and evaluating their work on the unit.

* These checks for understanding help reinforce AGAIN all the learning of computer science skills from the earlier phases, but add a new layer of teamwork and troubleshooting, especially if you give the learners time constraints and make them work in teams to put the deconstructed Kits away using a plan and organizational scheme they devise themselves!


Make it Better (5 minutes)

How would you build a computer differently? Explore the different areas of improvement like process, design, manufacturing, marketing and sales.


Taking Inventory (5 minutes)

Review 5.1 SLIDES - Piper Computer Disassembly. Ask students to look at their Blueprint. They can review and reflect on their own. Have them document best practices as a group.


Storage (5 Minutes)

Ask students to brainstorm ways in which the parts can be put back into the storage boxes.


Closing/Reflection Activity (10-15 Minutes)

Reflection Questions:

  1. How did this experience compare to when you were putting it together?
  2. How did you deconstruct a system in taking apart the computer?


During the final reflections, make sure to have them articulate how:

  • computing devices connect to other components to form a system.

  • computer hardware and software work together as a system to accomplish tasks.

  • potential solutions to solve simple hardware and software problems.

  • performed different roles when collaborating with peers during the design, implementation, and review stages of program development.

(CA 3-5.CS.1-3 (P7.2)(P4.4)(P6.2) then 3-5.AP.18)