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First released 2015
Age 11-14 years
Time allocation: 14-16 hours
This unit introduces learners to electronics and control, and in particular programmable components including microcontrollers. Originally planned for Year 7 it has scope to be taught across KEY Stage 3.
It has students engaged in a mainly making activity focusing on the fabrication of a printed circuit board (PCB) and development of a programme to control a simple product on the theme of ‘celebrations’. It includes a full unit of work, project framework, teacher notes, classwork and homework booklets, examples of completed projects and CAD and programming software. Components for making the products are not included.
The resource also contains a wealth of general information on electronic components, including starter activities and stimulus materials, presentations on aspects of electronic components and microcontrollers, soldering, circuits and Genie Design Studio and PICAXE files.
The lesson framework provided can easily be adapted to suit your own school timetable structure and be as ‘open’ as is appropriate for your students and timetable. Resourcing the unit of work depends on the facilities available in your department and how you would like to manage the project.
These Programmable Components resources were developed with the support of the IET and have been developed by highly experienced D&T teachers and teacher educators. The three projects aim to provide teachers with resources to enable them to introduce interesting design and make activities into their curriculum where currently the type of technology they depend upon is not being used or would benefit from alternative applications. They are deliberately designed with success built in i.e. what the students make will work. No claims are made about them representing true design and technology activity where one would expect to see students taking more control of the decision making and application of what they are working on. Rather these should be seen as enabling tasks that result not just in interesting products, but also give their creators the wherewithal to embark on further design challenges that would benefit from their increased capability.
All three projects have been extensively trialled in schools with full teaching groups completing the individual tasks taught and supported by their D&T teachers.
Other resources in the series:
• All in a Spin
• Multi-Light and Coin-operated Charity Box
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