Hardware Path

"It's hardware that makes a machine fast. It's software that makes a fast machine slow."

- Craig Bruce

Badge hardware

Learn Hardware to Succeed

Earn digital badges that can increase your online resume and web presence as you build useful workforce development skills.

Basic Hardware

Students learn to identify major components of computer internals


Students disassemble and properly clean a computer in teams of 2 or 3 and then assemble a computer alone


Students learn to troubleshoot basic hardware issues


Students identify basic server components and how they differ from workstation components


Students learn basic networking constructs

Level 1 Hardware: Basic Computing and Safety

  • Identify all major components and their purpose of a desktop computer (key pieces inside of a computer)
  • Identify differences in computer peripheral ports (USB, PS2, firewire, video)
  • Learn the various safety hazards and what the causes are (electrostatic discharge, fire, component failure)
  • Learn how to safely disassemble electronic devices (grounded, electrostatic mat, eye protection)
  • Demonstrate how to properly clean a computer (dusting, monitor cleaning procedures)
  • Learn how to properly dispose of computer equipment (batteries, monitors, metals, how to contact an e-waste company)
  • Basic assembly of a computer in small groups using proper safety protocols (HDD, RAM, BIOS battery, cables and cords)
  • Fill out assembly checklist

Level 2 Hardware: Advanced computing/troubleshooting

  • Demonstrate the ability to assemble the basic components of a desktop and laptop computer alone. (be able match a laptop caddie with proper hard drive, check motherboard RAM, be to match laptop power supply to correct model)
  • Learn the purpose of beep commands and where to find the codes for them (search system model example: 2 beeps for defective RAM)
  • Learn how to diagnose common hardware issues (bad HDD, RAM, blue screen, network connection failure)
  • Learn how to troubleshoot efficiently (Efficient troubleshooting process, How issues are related, basic scientific problem solving)
  • Demonstrate proficiency with advanced peripherals (understanding proper cables and procedure to correctly setup and test printers, scanners and other peripherals)
  • Proper pairing of LCD monitors with correct cables(VGA, DVI, HDMI)

Level 3 Hardware: Advanced troubleshooting, Create cabling cat5/6, Basic networking

  • Create cat 5 cabling (sheathing, crimping)
  • Use troubleshooting software (Diagnostics software similar to geeksquad)
  • Proficient in solving BIOS problems (Being able to diagnose locked bios issues)
  • Create a basic network (router and a few machines)
  • Know differences in desktop and server hardware (desktop ram, servers ram, differing power supplies)
  • Advanced cabling (Printer cables, proprietary cabling, various power outputs, etc)

Level 4 Hardware: Hardware

  • Demonstrate ability to create an advanced network (multiple points of access or users. Also includes proficiency with various network devices)
  • Demonstrate ability to troubleshoot server issues (be familiar with various server issues and be able to troubleshoot server hardware)
  • Create a basic file sharing server (creation of a basic server for storing files that students can pull information off of)
  • Create a basic PXE Boot server for the classroom (create a PXE Boot server for students to use when installing operating systems in place of cd’s or flash drives)