Students in the Melissa High School computer maintenance and computer networking classes recently took on the task to collectively build 21 new computers for the school’s engineering lab. The students will install the central processing unit and then load the computer’s operating system and engineering software.

Though the students are well-versed in computer assembly and software installation, they do have their teacher, Chris Mueller, at their side to answer questions and provide support.

Junior Maya Henderson said she will likely focus on building the processors, rather than installing software.

“We’ve put computers together — taken them apart and put them back together — in class,” Henderson said. “I’ve also made some computers with my dad.”

Senior Jason Baker has built three computers at home and is now working on his fourth build at school. In the future, Baker hopes to work in server administration.

“If you configure one thing wrong, it can cause a series of problems,” Baker said. “We always put in the CPU first because if you break that, then it’s done. You don’t want to break that.”

Junior Matthew Tierney has built computers at home with his father for the last two years. In class, he gets to bridge that hobby with his school work.

“It’s fun; I enjoy it a lot,” Tierney said. “The safety part of it and making sure you know what will break and what won’t (is most important).”