Students make low-cost computer - WNEM TV 5

Students make low-cost computer

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)
BAY COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

A pair of students' innovative idea is being celebrated by their school.

They've created their own low cost computer with software meant to teach computer science. They said it's meant to counter the high cost of hiring and keeping a computer scientist in schools and help students learn valuable computer skills.

"I'm absolutely ecstatic about it," said Benjermen Hill, innovator.

Learning with computers is something Hill is grateful for, but for many local schools putting a computer into every classroom can get expensive. Hill wants to change that.

"To know that we're actually getting this to children that might not be able to afford this in the first place is a really good feeling," Hill said.

Hill and his classmate Brendan Flippin created Chalice. The project is hailed as an affordable computer system that  can be used wherever education is taking place.

"Microcomputers, which are about the size of a credit card, that are low cost. Our unit retails for about $150 or at least that's what we're aiming for and has all the capabilities of a computer that schools have right now," Flippin said.

The pair are seniors at the Bay-Arenac ISD Career Center. They believe their venture will enable all schools rich and poor to utilize the teaching tools computers bring.

"The only things you have to plug it into are a display. So like your at home monitor, TV, projector," Flipping said.

Meanwhile, school officials said they're proud of the work being done there.

"It's absolutely mind blowing to see the talent that our youth has," said Tiffany Shepard, school spokesperson.

Shepard said the kids are innovators who are in a great place to realize their potential.

"Our teachers and staff really push students for those opportunities to reach those levels with their skill sets," Shepard said.

As for Chalice, the enterprise is in the early developmental stages. Hill and Flippin plan to start their own business. They want to give every child the change to learn computer science.

"Any school can be teaching it. Anybody can learn. Anybody can do it no matter if they're rich, poor, it doesn't matter anymore," Hill said.

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