Calling all 'Freaks - I need creative help here

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Hi Guys,

I need help here... and lots of advice.

My college (I'm an electronics lecturer now) has decided to take part in a STEM (scienc, technology, maths & engineering) even for local school kids in February to encourage them to get into technical careers, and make the right course choices early.

I will have groups of 16 students (~13/14 yrs of age) for 40 minutes (yep - you heard me right - only 40 minutes per group) and they have to do something electronic'y, with a target of 90% of them taking home something that works. There are three different groups per half day and it's across two days = 192 different students in total.

My gut instinct is to design a small circuit board with a pre-mounted AVR and get them to solder the leds or something, them program it with their own flashing led pattern, but I feel it's not quite there as an idea so I want my fellow 'freaks advice on this one - what should I think aout, what is feasible, what is easy...?

So far I've been able to haggle £5 per head - thats about $(US)8 each to make whatever I need to.

Any and all advice is gratefully appreciated guys... and don't hesitate to make suggestions or ask questions.

Regards,
Murdo.

There are already a million monkeys in front of a million keyboards, and the internet is nothing like Shakespeare!

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Forgot to say what my actual question was...

What would you suggest I do with them? or does anyone (who'se done similar) have any specific advice?

Murdo.

There are already a million monkeys in front of a million keyboards, and the internet is nothing like Shakespeare!

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I think you'll get the biggest bang for your few bucks with something using LEDs. Blinky, twinkly lights are just enticing, I've seen that over and over. A couple of ideas come to mind.

1) An LED candle. Use 3 or 4 yellow LEDs in a bunch to simulate not only the intensity variations of a candle flame, but the horizontal movement of the flame as well.

2) One or two RGB LEDs, maybe with a button that cycles through a set of patterns.

3) An LED die (dice). Push a button, watch the LEDs flash rapidly, slowing down to stop on a random (but valid) die face.

All of these could be done with either an 8-pin or a 14-pin AVR. And if you also give them a well-commented listing of the AVR program running their device, that may really stimulate them to learn what it all means and how they can play too. :)

Last Edited: Sun. Dec 13, 2009 - 12:41 AM
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40 minutes is not enough time to have (most of) them do anything too involved. I would suggest you need to have your project broken down into steps that don't need to be completed - that is, they can walk away from it at any time and have their gizmo in working condition.

So, soldering an LED or two would be about all I would absolutely require, with the AVR preloaded with the program. Then maybe have another program, and the ones that get the first level working could download the second program. Then maybe have a third program that needs a line or two, and the ones that get the download done could work on that and download it, etc. You will have wildly different levels of skills, most having never seen a soldering iron before.

And have a worksheet they can take home with them that tells what they did, why the did it, and has some hints for either further work at home, or how to search for further topics they can pursue.

It sounds like a wonderful project to me. Lots of opportunity to really spark some interest in the kids. Good luck with it.

Chuck Baird

"I wish I were dumber so I could be more certain about my opinions. It looks fun." -- Scott Adams

http://www.cbaird.org

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zbaird, i would like to add to your idea of the work sheet information to also include some examples of careers in the field along with possible educational paths to get there. If i remember going through these things as a kid correctly, there was never any connection reinforcement to the things done at events like this.

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Time is the real enemy. 40 minutes will go by very quickly.
I really like the the tiny cylon and Lux Spectralis kits by Dale Wheat.
They would be a great attention grabber.

http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2009/05/dale_wheat_and_the_tiny_kits.html

http://dalewheat.com/tinycylon.html
http://dalewheat.com/luxspectralis/

In kit form it is a little bit over your current funds. + battery.
But they are based on AVR and the source code and schematics are available.

The only way to complete something like this
in the 40 minutes and still have some "discussion" time would be to pre-solder most of it for them.
I'd use an 8 pin DIP socket so those that are really interested can easily replace the AVR or reprogram it.
Then have them maybe just solder the power wires and insert the AVR chip into the socket as part of the "assembly"

You could then spend most of the time talking about how the LEDs are actaully controlled by software and actually show them the actual code that is running inside the AtTiny.

He even sells a tiny ISP header board that can be used to program an AVR "in circuit" even if the AVR is soldered in.
You can just leave out the AVR chip and the long pins on the ISP header board will ride piggyback on top of the chip and grip it well enough to program it.

http://dalewheat.com/ISP%20Header/

You could even demonstrate this in class to show them a working cylon/Spectralis. Then reprogram the AVR to do something totally different. Just to demonstrate how software can alter behavior without having to change the actual hardware.
And how software can be modified with the chips still in place on the board.

--- bill

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Quote:
3) An LED die (dice). Push a button, watch the LEDs flash rapidly, slowing down to stop on a random (but valid) die face.

I really like the LED die idea.

I’m fresh out of University and i remember even in our 45 minute labs there was hardly enough time to get much done and we knew what we were doing. Getting the kids all organized and listening will take at least 5 minutes. I would suggest that you leave any programming out of the scope – it can be too abstract and scary. As it is, each kid is going to have some unique problem you can’t imagine which will eat up extra time. You should leave it to the physical world of putting it together which anyone can conceptualize.

Also how about:

A preprogrammed AVR that outputs 2 tones in a looped sequence. Each tone is controlled by a pot. It will be fun playing with the sound and hearing it work.

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I say get the kids started on gardening, you can buy a lot of seeds for 8 bucks. They will make more money, eat fresh produce and the info they get will not be obsolete in 6 months.

John Samperi

Ampertronics Pty. Ltd.

https://www.ampertronics.com.au

* Electronic Design * Custom Products * Contract Assembly

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Quote:
info they get will not be obsolete in 6 months.

this is just not true or helpful. I learned how to use LEDs and pots when I was 12yr old and I still use that a dozen years later. And because someone took the time to teach me about this stuff back then it directed my entire career path. The purpose of this is to encourage the students to pursue a technical career.

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Mahhari wrote:
I would suggest that you leave any programming out of the scope – it can be too abstract and scary. As it is, each kid is going to have some unique problem you can’t imagine which will eat up extra time. You should leave it to the physical world of putting it together which anyone can conceptualize.

Maybe I wasn't clear enough. The (well-documented) code listing would simply be something they took home at the end of the class, in the manner of "Want to know more?" material. It would make sense to include the schematic as well. If the home material were on CD you could even include the AVR datasheet and instruction set. Those who were interested would then have something to ponder on their own time. Of course it wouldn't make sense to them in the beginning, but those who's interest was piqued would go over the material again and again.

I got my first amateur radio handbook when I was in 8th grade. Hardly understood any of it in the beginning, but that didn't matter, as it was a never-ending source of both knowledge and wonder.

Mike

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Quote:
I say get the kids started on gardening

Well, I thought it was funny, John, but we all know I'm demented.

Chuck Baird

"I wish I were dumber so I could be more certain about my opinions. It looks fun." -- Scott Adams

http://www.cbaird.org

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I would leave out the uC all together and just get them to make a 3 LED chaser circuit. They will all enjoy it, will have elecronics in it, it will be cheap and it will give them something visual to have a play with. Maybe include a pot to change the timing of it all or something.

I remember that the first LED chaser i made was just amazing :) was much better than getting LED's out of old radios and power them by my radio speaker outputs hahaha

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nedward wrote:
I would leave out the uC all together and just get them to make a 3 LED chaser circuit.

I like the idea of a uC to show that "computers" are not just things that you check email and watch you-tube on.

We take it for granted that there's one (or more) in every new fridge, but how many 13 year olds will know that?

-- Damien

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I made 'kits' with a motor with pigtails, a switch with pigtails, a battery holder with pigtails, and I drew a picture/schematic on the whiteboard showing 'hook the battery to the switch to the motor and back to the battery' with wire nuts. Wrap 6 sets of wires together and wire nut them. I had the Webelos Cub Scouts (12ish?) do this and if you hooke all the reds and blacks together (everything in parallel!) it doesnt work! The moms told me the kids were fascinated and took em home and showed everyone. Not 'electronics', but at least electrical.

Imagecraft compiler user

Last Edited: Sun. Dec 13, 2009 - 03:56 PM
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I think You should consider having two or three different projects to do. The students are different, their skills vary (a lot) and maybe they also have different taste to things.
Here are some examples:
- fart generator. Just a simple AVR, one transistor and a speaker. Exclusive version has selection of different farts. (this is obviously for boys)
- Devil eyes. Two leds changing brightness up and down (PWM???). Great enhancement for dolls.
- Scream meter. Can You yell all 4 leds alit ?

If You need components I can donate these for Your project:

500 pieces of electret microphones. Three pin with integrated resistor. Works great with 5 vols.
100 pieces of Atmega8515-16PI
1000 pieces of Sanyo OsCon 47/20 capacitors
44 pieces of Atmel AT90S2313-10PI

I have a lot of other "expired" stuff out there. Just ask. I believe that the postage to You won't be too much for my economy.

My e-mail (Moderators, please, let this be here - this time) is esko atschii furpile dotchii comtsicom.

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We have "Girlsday" each year and I usually
do this motor

http://hilaroad.com/camp/project...

with a group of 6 girls. It takes me 2 hours to
explain, help and debug.

I think time is your greatest problem. If you
are alone, I think it's early impossible to
get 15 kids to solder. Remember how long
it takes one to learn it. Perhaps something
that can be mounted using a screwdriver would
be better.

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i would also suggest going with the LED chaser idea ... The hard part of using a micro controller based project is that they would be too raw to do it.

They would not know soldering yet ... to be more right to hold a soldering rod, apply the soldering paste, apply the lead etc .

People would be too novice.You have to then explain them the circuit components , then how to connect them and so on.The best bet is to have the number of soldering point's not exceed 20 max.

Also have them do as a group instead of single person . so that they watch out everyones back. i have guided a lot of first year students and taken class for their first electronics board

We typically deploy a led chaser and even though they have some basic circuit knowledge ... it takes around 1 t0 1.5 hours to get the things done

Also have around 4 to 5 people with you who can help them solder and debug

Happy guiding and teaching

change without any change is no change ;-)

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Concur with others - 40 minutes in nothing. Also, I'd look for something where the stuff that makes it funny isn't hidden inside something that the kids can not see at all. Yeah, I know, this will always be the case, but if the thing to do is to connect five components with wire, but the show is 99% due to firmware in an AVR then some of the point is gone.

If the thing do do is programming then my ideal dream here would be some kind of very forgiving "Meta Arduino", ie a very high level language which most would grasp in say 10 minutes.

If the thing to do is wiring things up then the stuff used should, at some level, be understandable by the kids and possible to explain in those 10 minutes. 555?

---

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As of January 15, 2018, Site fix-up work has begun! Now do your part and report any bugs or deficiencies here

No guarantees, but if we don't report problems they won't get much of  a chance to be fixed! Details/discussions at link given just above.

 

"Some questions have no answers."[C Baird] "There comes a point where the spoon-feeding has to stop and the independent thinking has to start." [C Lawson] "There are always ways to disagree, without being disagreeable."[E Weddington] "Words represent concepts. Use the wrong words, communicate the wrong concept." [J Morin] "Persistence only goes so far if you set yourself up for failure." [Kartman]

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JohanEkdahl wrote:

If the thing to do is programming then my ideal dream here would be some kind of very forgiving "Meta Arduino", ie a very high level language which most would grasp in say 10 minutes.

Total heresy, but
isn't that essentially what the Rev-Ed PicAXE stuff is all about. They even have a flow charting GUI built into the IDE that can generate the code for you.

--- bill

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js wrote:
I say get the kids started on gardening, you can buy a lot of seeds for 8 bucks. They will make more money, eat fresh produce and the info they get will not be obsolete in 6 months.

I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry when I saw JS's comments... I thought back to my pre-engineer days nearly 25 years ago. I was brought up in the country, walked to school every day and had a simple life, then I went to the city, got educated, met the big bad world and everything got complicated...

Thanks guys - all these responses overnight is brilliant. I kinda suspected what everyone has said - 40 minutes is chickenfeed when I have sixteen students, even more so when I have to repeat this session twelve times in two days. Fortunately I will have one technician and some of my own diploma students to help me and supervise the kids.

I like the idea of screwing connections together as that gets rid of the health & safety nightmare of 14 year olds soldering (yeah I know we all did from when we were in diapers but my H&S manager will have kittens and he's twitchy enough to start with...)

What I was thinking of was perhaps a Simon game with a small AVR pre-soldered and they have to add the leds and buttons, or give them an advanced choice of doing an led flasher that they could reprogram the pattern which would be repeated.

Thanks again,
Murdo.

There are already a million monkeys in front of a million keyboards, and the internet is nothing like Shakespeare!

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Given the age group, I'd go with Ohm's law and voltmeter/currentmeter display. That age should be able to handle the "math".

But I can't think of a practical "take away" project.

Hmmm--CDS light sensors are resistive. Perhaps an LED that goes on when the desired light level is reached.

Thermistors also are resistive. With the right circuit, one or more LEDs could go on when the "right" temperature is detected.

If budget allows, I'd see if you could get enough of the small breadboards for the projects. The ones about 50mm x 50mm.

Lee

You can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig.

I've never met a pig I didn't like, as long as you have some salt and pepper.

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An idea that comes to my mind: Instead of soldering
or srewing you could use jumpers. So
for example the could make their personal
7-segment signet. Or their personal LED-Dot
picture/pattern. You would have prefabricated
boards with LEDs,resistors and some supply
and they have to put the jumpers into place.

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Or my personal favorite.... wire nuts. See post about motor and switch and battery wiring on previous page.

Imagecraft compiler user

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Bob has the right idea with wire nuts. Keep the motor skills, tools, and time required to the minimum.

Here is a data point to help you calibrate what 40 minutes of time with kids can accomplish. I'm on the BOD of Rock-It Science http://rockitscience.com/ (BTW -- if you are looking for a worthy place for a tax-deductible donation... :) :) -- seriously, we are looking for a lab-grade calibrated strobe light right now if you have one laying around) so I'll share John's rules of thumb:

Everything John does is hands-on. When he is planning an activity with kids, he figures for a 50 minute class that for the youngest kids, he needs to be able to build the project in 45 seconds for the kids to get done during class. For kids in your target age group, he will go up to 2 or 2 1/2 minutes. So get a stop watch and time yourself building your widget. When you have something you can do yourself in 2 minutes, you will have something you can teach and lead in 40 minutes.

How many kids are in this group? Will you have an assistant? John works an elementary classroom of 24 kids with an assistant, and he has years of experience wrangling kids.

Your budget is a constraint, of course. I did a 10 week basic electricity class with 8 home-schooled girls age 7-9 a couple of years ago. Of the projects I did, there were three big hits:

1) The first lesson was conductors and insulators. I bought a pile of $3 multi-meters from Harbor Freight and gave one to each kid to keep. For the lesson I collected a bunch if things to measure for conductance. Wire, nails, bits of cloth, balloons, a dish of salt, a dish of water, a dish of salt water (!!!), etc. They loved it. By the end, they raided the kitchen and were jabbing probes into fruit. The cat, quite wisely, absented herself at that point.

2) I hit the surplus houses, and found some 7 segment displays and 7 position DIP switches. I gave each kid a solderless bread board, and had them connect a switch to each LED. This was a severe motor skill challenge in my target age group. It might work better for yours. In any case, this was a real winner, although all the kids needed help getting the SBB's assembled, and that many jumper wires was repetitive and tedious. I pointed out how ubiquitous 7 segment displays are in their world. Then they displayed numbers and of course made up non-numeric displays. It was a real high for them to get an understanding of how a part of their world works.

3. The last project was a wall-following robot. I found some long lever SPDT snap switches at a surplus house, and some cheap motors. Little lengths of screen door gasket pushed onto the end of the motors made tires. I had precut cardboard chassis from old boxes, and prepared leads on the motors and switches. With appropriate wiring, you can build a wall following robot. This was a winner with the kids, although hard to assemble, and the prep time for me was outrageous. (edit: The kids assembled this with wire nuts.)

Anyway, there are some thoughts. Good luck with your good deed.

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Seriously, I would not encourage ANYONE to take up electronics UNLESS they absolutely loved the stuff.

Perhaps programs like these will bring out the nerds out of the kids and they should be encouraged to continue. I do this job because I'm a nerd at heart and I have electricity running through my veins, literally, since I got zapped at the age of about 3....

But I have also seen people wasting their lives doing electronic courses when they just want to be a fireman, a carpenter or mechanic. They were never good at it and the best they could do was sales or management....

And as far as "I learned how to use LEDs and pots when I was 12yr old and I still use that a dozen years later." I learned vacumm tubes, CRTs etc. at about the same age, from 1964 onward. From 1975 I learned all about colour TV, Hanover blind effect, colour convergence, degaussing etc. and what do I do with that knowledge?? What? Has is been less than 6 months? :)

And as far as soldering my first soldering iron had a 10mm tip, used REAL solder with LOTS of natural lead, no core flux but acid or paste, every solder joint would have enough solder to build a mobile phone...didn't do me any harm... I don't think...but I can't remeber...

John Samperi

Ampertronics Pty. Ltd.

https://www.ampertronics.com.au

* Electronic Design * Custom Products * Contract Assembly

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js - LOL ;)

I had that zap too. At age of 7. With vacuum tubes and stuff. Made my first oscilloscope from a tube TV set at age of 13. Scared my parents by telling them about the lethal voltages involved - not by saying anything but demonstrating with a capacitor....

I agree with the thought that nobody should take electronics as a career unless one has the attraction to it.

Therefore the project should have simple things like blinking leds (all You need is a battery and a led) for those who could not care less. Then there should be somewhat demanding things that need another thought to get them right. I bet that there is a huge diversity among children when it comes to stuff like electronics or gardening. Both require dedication.

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Murdo,

I applaud you for the project you are doing. It will take a great deal of time and effort on your part.

I might suggest another approach for your consideration. Forty minutes will fly by. Some kids will not be interested and will be talking and generally distracting. This will slow things down more than you anticipate. Some kids will truly “get it”, and you would like to invite them back for a second session.

I might suggest that you have pre-assembled 5 cool, nifty, exciting, interesting projects. You spend a couple minutes talking about and demonstrating each one. You then let them play with them. A few minutes with this one, a few minutes with that one.

You should use PCBs, not breadboards, to make them indestructible for the kids to play with them.

Then at the end of the session each child gets a take home LED flasher, preassembled. Just a “door prize” for doing the electronics session. It will be a good reminder for those who have an interest in the project.

Some simple projects which you could have pre-assembled to display might include:

The Simon Game you already mentioned. Out of time, buy one from Spark Fun, (Both Through Hole and SMD Simon kits are available).

An LED chaser, with a push button switch to change the flash pattern.

A thermometer. Yes… Actually show a thermistor, micro, and an LCD. Out of time, use a Butterfly board, I’ll send you DS or Sensirion code. Let them hold, or blow on, or dip in ice water, the sensor, and see the display change.

A “Public Address” system, i.e. a small microphone and a chip, (or two), audio amp, and a small (PC) speaker(s). The deluxe version would have a volume control, and an LED bar graph, (more flashing lights, always a good thing).

A “Electronic Light Organ”, or whatever they use to be called. Plug one’s MP3 player into it, and the red led flashes with bass, yellow leds with mid-range, Blue leds with higher frequency notes, etc. You need an audio pass through to a PC speaker so they can hear the audio, while watching the leds.

A light sensor would be doable. An “Electric Eye”. Shine a flash light at the sensor. Break the beam with your hand and it Alarms, (beeps, etc.) Burglar alarm.

Motor with pot for speed control. Add the LED bar graph for effect, and because flashing LEDs are a good thing for kids of all ages. PWM a small motor with a propeller. You won’t even have time to discuss PMW, and it doesn’t even matter. The key is Teaching cause and Effect, with Human and Mirco control. Turn the pot, the motor, (propeller) spins faster. Try it yourself, you can feel the air blowing… (Don’t cut your finger…).

Anyways, the concept is forty minutes is very brief. You give a short introduction to electronics / computers / engineering, etc., and then a brief 1 – 2 minute DEMO for each of the TOYS you brought with you.

Then it is play time for the kids.

You stand back and answer questions.

You hand out the LED blinky toy as a take home souvenir of their introduction to (micro) electronics.

Just an alternative approach for you to consider.

JC

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The proposal of DocJC is really worth considering.
An extension comes to my mind.

You could demonstrate a programmable gadget (LED chaser) in order to demonstrate that Computers
are flexible. And the they get a programmed
version as takeawy. If the gadget has a bootloader
it might even possible that the participants
"programm" their device. The simply select
a version on a graphic user interface, connect
the gadget via a adapter and press the program-button.

But that would require do built a lot of
simple programming-interfaces.

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Hi Guys (and any Lady freaks who may be watching...),

I'd just like to say a really big thank you to everybody for the thought and detail they've put into the advice.

I kinda suspected some of the bad news (shortage of time, disinterest, etc) but it's the constructive ideas which will help me make this really work - I think DocJC's demo idea is good, then I'll maybe get the students to finish a simple premade circuit (eg wire the battery screw terminals) then they program the LED pattern somehow and take it away with them. Definitely a strong contender!

The thing that confuses me is not understanding how anyone could be disinterested in electronics... a sure sign I've been doing it too long and inhaled too much solder vapor!

Again, many thanx,
Murdo.

There are already a million monkeys in front of a million keyboards, and the internet is nothing like Shakespeare!

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Murdo,

I agree with the sentiment of "how could anyone be disinterested in electronics", but you know, I've actually met people like that. :)

But on a serious note, consider the shape of your goals. Exposure to electronics is good, but you could also think of it in the large sense of explaining/exposing a part of their world to them. Electronics is invisible and even "magic" or "beyond understanding". Leaving the kids with some part of the magic revealed, with the idea that the world *is* understandable can be very exciting to them, and empowering. That is clearly why the 7-segment display and switches project worked so well with my crew, it was a part of their everyday world that they now understood at a very fundamental level.

When I did my basic electricity class for the 8 girls, I didn't really give a rat's behind if they learned any electronics. I wanted to give them the confidence to tackle a lab class with gusto. My vision was some future lab partner saying: "Just give me the probes, honey, I'll take the measurements and you write them down."... and quickly finding his a** on the floor because the lab stool had be kicked out from under him :)

It's hard to tell who will be excited by your presentation, and you may never know what seeds you plant. Of my crop of 8, one of the gals that I least expected to be engaged ended up developing a deep long-term interest.

It's a good thing you are doing -- you might get bitten by the bug of working with kids.

-dave

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MurdoMcLeod wrote:

The thing that confuses me is not understanding how anyone could be disinterested in electronics...

My friend will not touch a circuit board. not even one that has no components on it etc. He's scared it will shock him etc haha.

Whenever he comes to work we generally have a good laugh at him haha

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Quote:
The thing that confuses me is not understanding how anyone could be disinterested in electronics... a sure sign I've been doing it too long and inhaled too much solder vapor!

That is one thing, but there is another:

Starting at a certain age its important for kids to
be cool. And in this age it's not considered cool
when you show enthusiasm. I think it starts at age 13 or 14. I always say at that point they are hormone-controlled and not brain-controlled :wink:
For me it's much easier to work with 12 year old
kid. Much more enthusiasm.

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MurdoMcLeod wrote:
The thing that confuses me is not understanding how anyone could be disinterested in electronics... a sure sign I've been doing it too long and inhaled too much solder vapor!
Agreed!

Maybe I've been doing it too long also, but I've always been fascinated by LIGHTS. In the 7th grade, I spent $30 (a lot of money back then) at an electronics store that I had to travel to by bus for a project that consisted of 6 neon lamps, several capacitors, resistors and a 90V battery. The neon bulbs flashed in sequence. I got a lot of enjoyment out of that project. It was a hit in my science class. However, my father couldn't understand how I could spend so much money on something so worthless.

So - my vote is for something simple with LEDs as a number of people have suggested. Simple might mean a microprocessor. Get the kids hooked and give them just enough information to get them to want to come back for more.

Also, having volunteered for a number of Space Day events, I've found it's very difficult to keep a group 4 to 6 kids interested for more than a few minutes. A technique that I found helpful in getting the kids involved is, instead of lecturing, ask them questions. If you get them to talk - answering questions - you keep their attention (well, to some degree).

Good luck!

Don

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consisted of 6 neon lamps, several capacitors, resistors and a 90V battery.

Been there, done that! It was also one of my earliest projects. I recall mine flashed for years. Wasn't the RC/Neon Osc called a Relaxation Oscillator? I think it was NE51 bulbs I used.

Wow, trip down memory lane.

JC

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I might suggest that you have pre-assembled 5 cool, nifty, exciting, interesting projects. You spend a couple minutes talking about and demonstrating each one. You then let them play with them. A few minutes with this one, a few minutes with that one.

I like this, we have to keep in mind this is more of an information session than a lab. Hands on is good, but not practical here.

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Go through your supplies, and gather all old ICs you won't ever use. Now let the youngsters apply a lot of Volts to those ICs and pop them so that the smoke comes out. Then you say:

"Kids. If that was fun, you should get a carreer in electronics". For the ones that are hard to convince you could blow up some electrolyt-cappies.

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Last Edited: Thu. Dec 17, 2009 - 04:16 PM
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You know that incandescent lamps manufacturers are switching to LEDs. An idea is to make a simple circuit to handle white high luminocity LEDs.
You have to control the current flow via the LEDs, while the circuit is been supplied from the mains power supply (public network). This is not so easy to do it, using a cheap circuit.

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So far I've been able to haggle £5 per head

This always reminds me cows.

ha ha ha...

Michael.

User of:
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I survived!

Had about 170 school age students across two days for assorted activites. We played with Lego robots, IR light barriers and detecting them with mobile phone cameras, some medical toys (simple pulse ox and a tens machine). The AVR toy was a computer game they had to wire up simply and then played ping-pong on the data projectors.

The favorite across both days was definitely the TENS and giving each other electric shocks... kids ehh!

I'm knackered but wanted to thank everybody for all your suggestions a few weeks ago.

Murdo.

There are already a million monkeys in front of a million keyboards, and the internet is nothing like Shakespeare!