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Slideshow: Kids Design the Darndest Things Ė 10 Winning LED Projects

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Tom Murphy
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TDQ
Tom Murphy   8/13/2013 11:50:24 AM
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This is just too darned cute!  I'm impressed with the hand-drawn schematics, which take me back to when I was about 10 or 11, and I decided to dissect my tape recorder to figure out how it worked.  I ended up with a schematic showing the guts of the machine, which, thankfully, still worked after I put it back together.  That further inspired me to build a Heathkit receiver that -- half a century later -- still sits in a box in my basement somewhere.  There is no question in my mind that several of these kids will go on to tackle other projects in electrical engineering.

Max The Magnificent
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Re: TDQ
Max The Magnificent   8/13/2013 2:14:57 PM
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@Tom: This is just too darned cute!  I'm impressed with the hand-drawn schematics...

I agree -- it's very cute, and I LOVE the handdrawn schematics...

kfield
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Re: TDQ
kfield   8/13/2013 4:52:00 PM
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@Max Hand-drawn circuit schematics do seem to be becoming somewhat of a lost art!

Frank Eory
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Re: TDQ
Frank Eory   8/13/2013 7:07:22 PM
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A lost art indeed. The hand-drawn schematics bring back memories. My wires weren't much straighter or any more parallel than these. Luckily, accuracy counted more than geometric perfection. Nice to see kids doing these projects.

Susan Rambo
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Regional pride
Susan Rambo   8/13/2013 11:17:15 PM
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I like how all the students featured here did something that represented their state or local area. It kind of reminds me of the state fair or county fairs and how as a kid you would enter something and get a ribbon. (Like entering your chicken or pig.) Does anyone know if the county fairs have an electronics section?

mcgrathdylan
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Re: Regional pride
mcgrathdylan   8/13/2013 11:47:12 PM
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I once had an intership at the California State Fair media relations office. I can say for sure there was no electronics section then. Not sure about now, but I kind of doubt it. But I agree with your sentiment. The fact that they did something to represent their area is fair-esque.

junko.yoshida
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So much fun
junko.yoshida   8/14/2013 7:26:14 AM
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I actually enjoyed every slide and video shown here! Each demo comes with an initial sensation and pride: "Look, what we've done!" I loved the Les Paul guitar thing (image 4). But of course now that I live in Wisconsin, obviously, Lambeau Field demo gets my vote.

rick merritt
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Re: So much fun
rick merritt   8/14/2013 1:37:47 PM
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I would looooove to sit down in a dark room for awhile and play that "LED Paul" guitar!

junko.yoshida
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Re: So much fun
junko.yoshida   8/14/2013 5:49:39 PM
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I know, Rick, I am with you. That was really a cool Les Paul!

rick merritt
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Re: So much fun
rick merritt   8/14/2013 6:59:21 PM
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I think the LED Paul guitar could be a commercial product, at least for a few professional performers. Think of the light show...maybe a whole LED band.

Caleb Kraft
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Re: So much fun
Caleb Kraft   8/15/2013 9:09:41 AM
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They're beaming! Those kids are so proud of their work, I'll bet every one of them makes many more things. 

I don't even play guitar, but I think I'd enjoy that les paul. 

Charles.Desassure
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Wonderful...
Charles.Desassure   8/14/2013 10:21:35 PM
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I am so excited to see these great minds at work.  This is wonder!

kfield
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Build instructions
kfield   8/17/2013 7:05:17 PM
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If anyone is interested in the build instructions for any of these projects, we have most of the detail - reply to me here and let me know which project(s) you are interested in. They would be fun projects for the Fall season leading up to the holidays.

WKetel
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The school engineering projects
WKetel   8/17/2013 9:14:23 PM
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The fact that these were done by teams does make them vey impressive indeed. And the Edison Engineers keeping a good lab notebook, and realizing what collaboration really consists of, is a very big lesson indeed. So this was an excellent learning project for all of the teams. Better than the university team that did a project for my company a few years back. And I don't think the materials were that very expensive, so it is something that can be done again and again.

And hopefully the exposure to actual engineering, and building a project that works, will encourage some to persue an engineering career.

David Ashton
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Led Challenge
David Ashton   8/17/2013 10:14:37 PM
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I was lucky - and honoured - to be a judge on the last IGEN LED challenge which was organised by Naomi Price (she's in the video).  Some of the projects I judged are here, some are not familiar so are maybe from other years, but the level of commitment and innovations shown by some of these kids was outstanding. It was VERY difficult to pick a winner, only made slightly easier by the fact that there were several categories to award in.

I have a hand-drawn schematic of a small project I have been working on in front of me now (it's been waiting for me to do a nice one and design a PCB for weeks now) and it is not much different from some of the ones shown.  Ya gotta start somewhere with everything.....

But a search on IGEN does not uncover much on this site, apart from the above video.  Has it been canned, along with the people who ran it?   There are lots of articles about STEM education and teaching on the site, surely EETimes should be at the forefront of encouraging kids to take up engineering in this way?   If it gets going again I'd be happy to give some of my non-existent spare time to helping with it.

 

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