Almost a year after the first COVID-19 lockdown, many schools remain closed, and there is an increased need for computers for online schooling.
Schlumberger employees refurbish laptops to help children with online learning
At the start of the pandemic, Schlumberger teams around the world quickly responded to help their local communities. Before long, employees at facilities in Canada, France, the UK and the United States arranged with the company’s IT department for several hundred laptops to be refurbished and donated to local education organisations for distribution to families in need.
Colin, a senior systems architect in Cambridge, was among the employees who arranged for Schlumberger to donate refurbished computers.
Inspired by his daughter whose classes are being delivered online during lockdown in 2021, he started thinking of more ways to ensure children in their local community could access the equipment needed to continue education remotely.
“I’m a problem solver,” says Colin, “and I started thinking, there must be people in our community who have unused computers at home. And instead of recycling them, these computers could be refurbished to help tackle the digital divide for families in need.”
So he put an announcement in a community social media group asking for computer donations to help prevent pupils from falling behind in their school lessons due to lack of computer access.
Community members enthusiastically responded. As Colin began the process of computer refurbishing, his 13-year-old daughter Anya took interest.
“With so many children without computers for learning, I wanted to contribute. I asked dad if he could teach me to refurbish the computers,” says Anya, "Every computer given to a family in need makes a huge difference.”
Without having prior IT experience, Anya learned the steps such as replacing hard drives and patching. Now she knows computer building essentials and has refurbished 28 laptops—this takes about 30 minutes per unit.
The father and daughter teamwork turned around 66 computers in 10 days. The refurbished computers are then given to a local education organisation for distribution to families in the community.
To share knowledge and encourage others, Colin held a webinar for Schlumberger employees to describe the initiative—and his daughter co-presented. “I’d never been interested in computers before. I really enjoy the computer refurbishing process and showing others how they can help,” shares Anya, “I’ve now taught my best friend how it works.”
Schlumberger strives to be a unifying voice for global stewardship in the communities where its employees live and work.
Learn about how employees at locations worldwide are supporting educational initiatives in their communities in response to COVID-19, and discover more about its educational projects around the world.
The Schlumberger Cambridge Research Center (SCR) on the western outskirts of Cambridge, England, is a distinctive marquee-like structure housing multidisciplinary research teams of more than 100 scientists and technicians.