Students getting hands on real world work experience

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MORRISVILLE, N.C. -- The thought of taking on a task like building a computer, at the worldwide headquarters of the world's largest computer maker, may seem a little daunting for anyone, especially if you're 13 years old.

Middle school students from Guilford County were in Wake County today at Lenovo, learning tech stuff and experiencing a real-life work environment.

"This is the time to teach kids and get their attention. Spark their interest and maybe they'll think, hey, 'I would like to be doing something like this long term for a career. This is so much more impactful than sitting in the classroom,’" said Lenovo employee and teacher-for-a-day Emily Wolf.

Today's event is part of a program called "Students at Work Week," a statewide initiative where more than 22,000 students are getting a firsthand look at what it's like to work in a real work environment. The students took apart and rebuilt the computers and got to ask employees about their work life. The idea is take a kid with just an inkling of interest in the tech field and fire them up, show them what's possible if they stay in school and work hard.

"They actually learn how to do something they never thought they could do, which is rebuild a computer from scratch," said Michael Abensour, executive director of Kramden.org, a nonprofit that refurbishes computers and gives them to students without access to computers.

"I just think it's a great experience for us to just come put and have hands on experience because we usually don't get this opportunity in normal school," said Northeast Middle School 8th grader Mary Watkins.

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