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Electronics from Toys to Tools: An Adventure for Future Engineers

Seminar Leader:
Jorge Santiago-Aviles


This seminar will address the rudiments of electronics and circuits for teachers. We will use the facilities of the Detkin Lab, one of the instruction laboratories of the School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS).
We will approach this seminar as a hands-on exercise on the utilization of electronic elements and devices for the construction of simple circuits. Some of the circuits we will be constructing will provide the user with a constant DC (direct current) voltage, or current, switching, amplifying, and filtering (selecting voltages of differing frequencies), and lastly, learning to communicate wirelessly.
During the first part of the seminar, some of the electronic circuits we will construct will mostly be useful as toys. Building on this stage, those developed during the second part of the seminar, will be capable of doing work as tools.
Upon completion of the seminar, the teachers will be able to design (i.e., plan for a circuit that will perform according to specifications) simple but useful circuits capable of motion, sensing and actuating. The hands-on nature of the seminar content can be adjusted to address various grade levels, contents, and skill sets of students.

Unit TitleAuthor


The Electric Human

Nichole Boyd
Keywords: Human body replica, Models of human body, Nervous system, Ohm’s law

Teaching Math Using Electronics

Cara Wallin
Keywords: Algebraic Equations, circuits, Conversions, Robots, STEM

Hey! Who Turned Out the Lights? Electricity in Series and Parallel Circuits

Sharon Mastrobuoni
Keywords: conductors, electrical circuit, electricity, insulators, Parallel Circuit, Physical Science, resistance, Series Circuit

How To: An Adventure in Writing and Designing Circuits

Tia D. Larese
Keywords: breadboard, Circuit, diode, engineering, invention, language arts, LED, light bulb, Physical Science, quiz board, Technology, timeline, transistor, writing

Tinkering with Simple Electric Circuits

Ambra Hook
Keywords: electric circuits, electricity, parallel circuits, Physical Science, series circuits, tinkering

Electricity Through Nonfiction Text

Melissa McPhillips
Keywords: electricity, energy, nonfiction text, primary

Animal & Plant Electricity

Bruce S. Karpe
Keywords: animal, cellular transmissions, electrical signal, electricity, environmental stimuli