Electrical engineering is a broad and exciting field full of opportunities for creative student projects. Projects can help a student develop a thorough understanding of electronics or circuitry. They also provide valuable experience which can be useful both in everyday life and in a broad range of careers. Since electrical engineering principles apply on many levels, instructors can create projects which are accessible to students of almost any educational level.
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Student Projects for Young Minds
Well-designed student projects can introduce the fundamental principles of electrical engineering to students well before they reach high school. Workshops demonstrating elementary circuitry construction can teach students how electrical appliances they interact with every day operate. Simple projects for younger students can focus on conductivity and resistivity differences between materials or building simple devices like radios or electromagnets. Projects conducted in groups or led by an instructor may yield better results depending on the age group of the students.
High School Student Projects
While many schools have elective classes which focus on this topic, independent student projects in electrical engineering can be included in several different science courses, including physics and earth sciences. High school projects tend to focus on more difficult aspects of electromagnetism, and could involve the construction of complicated devices such as DC motors, infrared sensors or electronic games. Projects may incorporate other aspects of engineering such as cost-benefit analyses or the environmental impact of different solutions.
College Level Student Projects
At the college level, most projects in electrical engineering will be found in classes specific to the discipline. Undergraduate curriculum in the electrical engineering majors of most colleges culminate in a final project which demonstrate the student's mastery of the field. Projects can be quite complicated, often requiring a full calendar year for completion. Examples of final projects found at the undergraduate level include miniature magnetic levitation trains, solar powered golf carts and electronic signal processing.
Student Projects for Science Fairs
Electrical engineering is an advanced topic that is immediately accessible to people of all ages. There are many quick, fun and inexpensive student projects which are ideal for science fairs or home. For elementary school science fairs, projects involving transparent circuit boards can visually show the flow of electricity from a power source to a motorised fan or other small device. Middle school students have made radios or walkie-talkies with inexpensive components found at Radio Shack or Walmart. Student projects for high school students could be as simple as creating a speaker from paper, wire and a magnet or as complicated as creation of band pass filters for audio signals. Since electrical engineering is such a broad and varied field, imagination is the only limit to finding fun, challenging and rewarding student projects.
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