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Electronics from Toys to Tools: An Adventure for Future Engineers

Jorge Santiago-Aviles

Preface:

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.

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