Thursday, January 19, 2012

Engineering Education

Today, I did not do a home improvement project, but I did something I considered blog-worthy, so here we go. I spent my afternoon with some elementary school girls interested in science and math and taught them about Electrical Engineering! It was actually really fun. They asked me questions and everything... and I even got to answer why a microwave oven is called a "microwave"oven! I started off by giving a brief history of EE (from ~the 1800s onward). It was fun for them to hear about times before lightbulbs, radio, cell phones and PCs. Of course, then we got to the lab part. I sort of ... froze. I realized I needed to cover Ohm's Law, Kirchhoff's Law and circuit symbols, in approximately 5 minutes. But we got through it okay, and with a little help a lot of supervision, they got the lab done! And their little LED circuits worked. And I think they at least understand how breadboards operate (though I did get one comment that the lab was hard. Of course, they were doing something I didn't do until I got to college). So, just to share, I am attaching my lab that I made up that goes through the same theory we went through. We had talked about Morse code as being the predecessor to text messaging, so they then could use the push button in their circuit to spell out Morse code messages!
Everyone get that? I hope you all enjoyed my little foray into STEM education! 

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