Exploring Electronics

BY Amanda Hough

Mashpee High School

Project Description
My goal is to entice students (typically underrepresented populations in STEM including girls and minorities) who have not engaged in the Makerspace and engineering to try it with the introduction of electronics through wearable electronics and electronic circuitry. Currently at Mashpee Middle High School we have a wonderful Makerspace which is open to all students to use. I would like to make the exploration of electronics another area that students can focus on and learn about. The products I am asking for will be used both during classes from grades 8-12 in Engineering the Future and Technology and Engineering as well as after school for all grades 7-12 during the Makerspace Club. The activities will be creating electronic circuits with Makey Makey using common everyday objects like fruit, graphite, and water. Students will also attach the Makey Makey to raspberry pi micro computers already in the Makerspace and perform computer programming. Once students have an understanding of how electronics and circuits they can then performed advanced activities including using the sewing machine, conductive thread, and leds to create wearable electronic products, including shirts, bags, and hats. High school aged students will also take their knowledge of electronics along with the Makey Makey and electronic circuits to teach younger students during our annual energy carnival held at Quashnet school and administered by the Mashpee High School students.

How will the project be evaluated (e.g. how will you gauge its success)
The success will be gauged during class activities by student’s level of understanding of electronics through a teacher produced rubric. Students understanding will also be determined by number of correct answers on Science, Technology and Engineering MCAS questions related to electronics. I will also keep an attendance log of the Makerspace club to determine if there has been an increase in underrepresented populations attending the Makerspace club to perform electronics.

Benefit to the students and the school
Underrepresented populations of students will access science, technology and engineering topics specifically electronics. Students will learn electronics but additionally learn to sew and write computer programming languages. The school will see an increase of use of the Makerspace which will allow for students to be more creative and participate collaboratively with each other.

Timeline of Project (when will you do the project, if applicable)
As soon as the funding is available the items will be purchased. We will start making circuits as soon as February and using Makey Makey right away. The wearable electronics will be introduced and used in the Spring of 2018. It should be noted that we currently have an embroidery machine which we previously purchased from other funding and we see these items being used in collaboration with it for the wearable electronics. We also have leftover thread and sewing supplies from a previous home economics program that is no longer supported by the school.

 

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