Jacksonville Virginia College Students Build Aquarium Computer

Jun 7, 2011

Students working on the Aquarium PC project included (L to R) Veronica Kearse, Carrie Cantrell, Levon Joseph, Roselynne Donaldson and Rey Joseph.

Students of Virginia College in Jacksonville's Networking department recently created a computer of highly unusual and unexpected proportions -- an aquarium PC.

The aquarium computer is a fully-functioning PC mounted in a six-gallon aquarium. It is filled with liquid and includes artificial fish, aquarium rocks, an air compressor, SpongeBob SquarePants figurines and a Virginia College logo.

Program Director Berry Smith said the Network Engineering students did 100 percent of the assembly as a class project. "They did a remarkable job with it. They successfully transformed an everyday item into something unique and distinctive, yet still functional."

The computer was made with standard including an AMD Dual Core processor, a MSI Motherboard, 2 GB of crucial Ballistix Tracer RAM, an ATI video card, a 730 watt Modular Power Supply and a 250 GB hard drive.

Roselynne Donaldson pours in the magic ingredient.

Rather than using water to fill the aquarium, students chose to use mineral oil since it does not conduct electricity. The students also added a custom computer tray to hold the motherboard and a radiator with a pump to keep the computer workings cool.


...and in other Virginia College news...

Salvation Army tornado relief efforts in Montgomery went into overdrive after recent Virginia College commercials promoted a campaign to collect items for storm victims.

Officials from Salvation Army thanked the college for its extra efforts and told Fox 20 that "once the spot started on that Saturday, their donations went from a trickle to pouring in."

In Austin, Paralegal Studies student Rosalinda Castillo is the latest Scholarship Award Recipient. She was awarded $1500 from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas. Her name has been added to the campus's "Scholarship Wall."