New Technology Club Opportunity

January 6, 2018


Hal Alles, a grandparent of an Oak Creek student, has generously offered to lead an after school technology club.  Initially, the "beta test" of the club will run for four Tuesdays in January 2018 after school, in the Makerspace.  The club will start small (6 students in grades 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade) to get a feel for what works.  If the first four sessions go well, we may be able to expand to additional rotations with new and/or more students.   If you are interested in signing your student up for the January session, please follow the link below.


You will need to sign a parent release form, which will be available at the first session - January 9, beginning at 3:00.  For subsequent sessions, students can go directly to the Makerspace from their classroom at the end of the school day.  Please be prompt in picking up your student at 4:00 from the Makerspace.


To sign up follow this link: 


If you have questions, contact Deanne Crone Knipple at


Additional information about Hal Alles and the club is included below:


Hal’s Background

Hal was born with a native interest in science and wanting to know how things worked. Although brought up on a farm, he repaired radios and TVs for relatives and friends while still in grade school (things were simpler then). After taking all available science and math courses in high school, he went on undergraduate and graduate school to earn a PhD in Physics. His research only took a few weeks to do the physics, but two years to build the experimental apparatus centered on a mini-computer. This work lead to research position at Bell Labs where he worked for 10 years exploring and advancing computer technology. After leaving Bell Labs, he went on to be a founder of 3 high tech companies and continued to be an entrepreneur, inventor, and advanced product developer. During his 50 year career, Hal has been both a victim and benefactor of about 24 cycles of technology doubling (an increase of over 16,000,000) about every 2 years (Moore’s Law).


Exploring Computer Technology Club

Most families today have dozens of computers – computers are in phones, tablets, games, electronics, appliances, cars, etc. We uses these computers every day without appreciating the “technology magic” that makes them work. This technology was unimaginable 70 years ago (before transistors) – even science fiction writers got it wrong. The best prediction was made by the comic “Dick Tracy” with his wrist radio. 

This after school program will explore how computers are build and how they work (not how to make them work). Each student will disassemble a working computer and put it back together to make a still working computer (hopefully). We will also look deep inside several of the computer components - these will never work again. Centered on this activity, we will learn a little bit about electricity, electronics, computer logic (Boolean), computer numbers (binary), and gain an appreciation for the 100s of companies and 1000s of people that work together to make all the components and put them together to make a computer.

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