Electronics 1: Introduction to Electricity and Electronics
‘Electronics 101’ is a beginner’s overview of the use of electronics. Through this course, students will learn about the theories and concepts of electricity and electronics, as well as the fundamentals of microprocessors, and their place in history and society.
At the end of the course, participants will have produced controllers and receptors based on the Arduino microprocessor in order to accomplish various tasks related to sensing and actuating, including controlling servo and stepper motors, illuminating LEDs, and programming the microprocessor to turn the LEDs on and off in a particular order.
The students will participate in multiple projects, including the creation of a ‘Traffic light’ – a small LED array that is controlled by an Arduino that the students have programmed. This course is highly recommended as a complement to the ‘Wearable Electronics’ and ‘Creative Computing’ courses.
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The goal of this course is to provide a strong and creative foundation in electronics. A core microprocessor will be produced and modified, to provide a variety of goal-driven interactivity. The course will take you through observation, documentation, investigation, and research of given topics.
The class is for high school students, and it is useful if you have basic understanding of electricity and electronics (although this is not necessary; we will review necessary fundamentals of electricity and electronics in the beginning of the course). Some programming knowledge is also useful, since Arduino microprocessors need to be programmed in the Arduino language (available free at www.arduino.cc). Again, this is not a necessary requirement, but only a recommendation, since the level of programming necessary for this course is basic and will be reviewed in the initial sessions.
This course is taught using classroom and lab instruction employing lecture/demonstration, in-class exercises, student participation, and class activities leading to a final project. Classes includes introductory concept presentations, followed by in-class exercises. The first couple of sessions will be more fundamental (general electricity, electronics, etc), but will subsequently expand to cover necessary knowledge for programming and component building. Throughout, there will also be handouts and brief presentations on relevant concepts, including history/myths of electricity, gaming/play, form/shape.