Looks like you school has a healthy stimulating environment Susan! Great!
I install a lot of Linux distro's on old machines for people with so many MS Windows problems like toolbars on IE, viruses, slow HD, registry problems etc.
Usually they are too poor to buy a new machine or too afraid and have given up on a PC because of the many problems and knowledge required for (if possible) maintaining Windows.
In general, I just ask what programs they use and if possible with that usage, if they want a very easy, free of viruses and other Windows problems computer that will be much faster then the system – even when they bought it.
If they say yes, I just put a Linux distro on it, usually Mint, and return it to them. For the dozens of PC's I've done this I never had a complain! They don't care what's on it as long as it works and is safe. Usually they don't even know what I put on it, but they ALL love it :-)