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Getting kids interested in Electrical Engineering program Answered

Getting kids interested in Electrical Engineering I am starting an entry level program for High school students in Electrical engineering. This program is going to be run in the upcoming summer. I believe it is going to be over a course of one month in July. I would like some help from you guys. I am trying to come up with list of topics and activities to cover with them. This is what I have so far. Voltage, Resistance. Explain different components and their functions Have a few activities with the components that I will introduce. So does any one know any topics I should cover and different activities that would supplement the topics.



7 years ago

Thanks for the post. My son is really interested in electrical engineering. What kind of resources are available for a 13 year old to learn about electrical engineering, and engineering in general?


10 years ago

I'd stay away from high-voltage circuits, leyden jars, tesla coils, jacob's ladders, electrostatics, and similar. While unquestionably "neat", the "danger" and "temptation factor" outweighs the relevance to modern electrical engineering.
Feel free to make as many of These blinkie boards as you want; it's a nice little board for using your basic components, learning to solder, etc. It's also a simple enough PCB to make it clear just how a PCB works...

on day one lay down ground rules
dont use a tesla coil. (not even a sstc) a tesla coil is a resonant inductor, and will not demnstrat coupling and filtering.
if you do high voltage, make sure evryone is well back, and keep your finger on the emergency off.
do NOT place a screw driver over a capacitor leads. impressive though it will be, you may damage the screwdriver.

capacitance: a leyden jar near a computer screen
inductance: a transformer
resistance: an led circuit

Whats a leyden jar? And why would it be near a computer screen?

"The Leyden jar is an early device for storing electric charge invented in 1745 by Pieter van Musschenbroek (1700–1748). It was the first capacitor. Leyden jars were used to conduct many early experiments in electricity."

From here:

As to why it would near the screen, couldn't tell you.

so it can absorb energy from the crt. havent you seen the instructabel where you put a leyden jar near a crt and it gives sparks? its a fun and safe way to demonstrate capacitance

I have never seen it. I want to try it now though...

go ahead. just dont touch the discharge terminals.

With voltage across any coil, any "sudden break" without proper preparation will induce a HV kick back. This could conceivably be demonstrate with a very small voltage and small coil (and a light bulb) and thus demonstrate the collapse of an induction field.

hence the principal of resonant tv flyback transformer drivers.

Dude I'd pay to do that I'm 14 and stuck in my house alone doing chores for 2 months

I sure wish someone at my school would start an electrical engineering program...unfortunately, my friend and I would probably be the only people who signed on.

(sorry for the caps)

I'm really psyched for this - my dream is to eventually start a primary school geared towards science and engineering. (You can never start your kids off early enough)

In terms of their grade level, just make sure they can do basic algebra and you should be able to go all the way from voltage to simple C & R circuits, implementing LEDs and such.

Make sure you REALLY explain voltage and current well though - It took me quite a while to finally understand what was really going on (3 years I think).

Definitely have them "debug" simple circuits, teach them resistor code, what power is, and all the basic formulas. Really give them a good understanding of the physics behind it - I find that electronics is really confusing until you know the nitty gritty behind everything. (But that's just me)


10 years ago

Huh. I don't seem to have much memory of what my high-school "electronics shop" classes covered; it all blends together with stuff from later on. Here are some ideas, though: TOOLS: learn to use some typical tools. Soldering iron. Multimeter. Proto-board. Basic Oscilloscope usage if you have one (or: PC sound card scope?) POWER: talk about power consumption. Put a "green" spin on it. Measure the power consumption of LED vs incandescent lights (LV DC, hands on.) Measure incandescent vs fluorescent AC lamp power consumption using something like a kill-a-watt meter. Batteries: continuing the "power" thread - it is of nearly immediate practical use to understand more-than-most-people about batteries: capacity, voltage, internal resistance...

How simple are you going - will they know about series vs parallel circuits?

Power: Watts
Power: generation (here's a fun thing - connect a simple DC motor directly to a voltmeter, no other components - challenge the class to generate the highest voltage by hand - the effort of spinning the motor shaft with fingertips will give them a feeling for the concept of Work.

Give them a couple of BEAM circuits and a pile of dead equipment, see what they can make.

capatance, have a big capacitor and short it with a screwdriver and make a huge spark. Inductance, make a tesla coil, that'll hook them HV experiments are always cool, but dangerous.