I am a freshman attending Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Like most freshman, I started my college career by living in a dorm. My roommates and I wanted to create an amazing 'dorm' theater system, complete with surround sound (we love movies) and a sub-woofer. Being the tech guy and handyman in my 8-person apartment, I decided to turn my older 2nd laptop I had brought with me to college (Asus N56DP) into a dorm theater PC. After several weeks of solid "dorm theating," my computer started shutting off randomly. The computer always ran hot, no-matter what I did to try to cool it off. So I decided to take it apart to try to fix it before I threw it away.
I took it all apart along with my trust Pro Tech Toolkit. As I was ripping parts off, I showed my roommates the different components of the PC, including the CPU that was in the computer (it was conveniently not soldered into the motherboard. I found nothing suspicous, until I looked at the cooling fins in my CP. Half of the openings were STUFFED with dust. After a few blows from my canned air I had next to me, I put everything back together happier than ever. It turns out that was the issue, and now our dorm theater PC runs better - and cooler - than ever!
Go out there, open things up, and try to repair them. I learned to work with tools by opening stuff up and trying to fix them from when I was a little kid. It has taught me valuable skills not only how to repair different things, but also how to make my own designs better (I am studying to become an engineer). I strongly believe that repair/reuse is better than any other type of recycling - as it is the one that pollutes the least, but it also teaches engineering and self-dependency. So go into your garage, fix that old computer you have, and put it to good use!