Expo showcases array of technologies

By Ryan Cornell

FRONT ROYAL — Visitors to the inaugural technology expo at Riverfront Christian School on Tuesday were treated to a bevy of technologies, both old and new.

A table of ancient relics including a Singer sewing machine, a Dormeyer kitchen mixer and a typewriter the size of an accordion — all devices yielded obsolete before the students at the Front Royal Christian school were born — sat on a table across from new forms of technology on the forefront of innovation.

Elizabeth Coffey, technology teacher at the school, said the historic items were from a collection of her mother’s and recalled stories about her mother lugging the typewriter between classes around the George Washington University campus.

At another table, Riverfront students Matthew Reisinger, 16, and Wade Bailey, 17, presented demonstrations of the Printerbot Simple 3D printer they assembled over a month of classes.

Matthew said the school’s technology classes have instilled in him a passion in technology that he wants to pursue after high school, and said he’s learned how to troubleshoot problems after using the 3D printer.

Wade said he was first introduced to the notion of 3D printing through a news article he read in August.

“I thought it was pretty interesting stuff,” he said. “Then when I heard we were getting our own, that was really exciting.

“A lot of people think that since we’re a smaller school, we wouldn’t have the top-of-the-line stuff,” he said. “Mrs. Coffey has done a good job adding all this stuff.”

A flight simulator and a computer leading people down the roads of Front Royal using Google Maps’ streetview feature was also at the expo.

Over a trio of opened Dell CPUs, student Gena Boice, 14, was informing visitors about the history of Dell Computers.

She said she found the company’s history as well as the story of founder Michael Dell fascinating.

“He started the company in 1984 with only $1,000,” she said. “In four years, he was able to go from $1,000 to $30 million.”

Boice, who said she liked learning about the hardware component of computers more than the software, said she also liked learning about how far and fast they’ve advanced.

“Starting with something really big, learning about computers that took up an entire room, to a computer that fits on a desktop,” she said.

Contact staff writer Ryan Cornell at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rcornell@nvdaily.com