Explorations In Engineering 2013
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Today the students heard from Dr. Rhett Davis, from NC State, about Electrical Engineering. He talked about how Engineering looks at the world and how it uses its forces to do useful tasks. Next, the class looked at the example of a water wheel to start thinking about one of the ways the world uses forces. They saw that the system of the hill, river, water, and water wheel are all a good analogy for the way that a circuit's components work, where a battery has voltage that, based on the voltage, is like the slope of a hill that the river is on. The river and the water within it are like the electricity and wires, narrow pipes are like resistors, and the water wheel using the energy to grind wheat is like an LED used it to turn it into light. The students then learned about capacitors and the way they store voltage, as well as digital and analog circuits. The students used a circuit simulator to learn about some of the ways that their circuits work, and at the end of the day used these components and a timer and counter chip to create a circuit that blinked and counted how many times it blinked in binary. The students built their own circuits that they were able to take home, and students who finished early helped others build circuits, exercising their abilities to cooperate.