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STEM Nov. 2018 Progress

November 6, 2018

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) is a prominent topic in the education systems worldwide. This past year in ACEP STEM, our students have achieved a lot. Students returning from abroad we surprised at how far the other students have advanced. And at the same time, those returning students were greeted and welcomed by their peers. With the help of their fellow students, they are catching up to the other students.

Present status – Y11

Students have been working on a multi-month project. The goal is to assembly and test a small function of a microprocessor, using discrete transistors to implement the logic functions. Students are learning that those who took shortcuts and were sloppy in the workmanship earlier, are finding that they have much more work to do, than those who took the time to do it right the first time. An important lesson for their future if they chose to listen.

Over half of the students are in the final integration of their system. Their system consists of what is known in the industry as a “half adder”. Two half adder combines to make a full adding function to a calculator or processor. Each student must make sure their work is completed, and then partner up with a fellow student. The two working together will combine their work, integrate all the controls and yield a full adder circuit.

Because of the loss of a lecture per week due to administrative reasons, our current schedule will stretch out the half adder assembly target to end of November or prior to Christmas break. Then we will assemble the full adder functions in the new year.

It has been a long year of work, but the end is in sight!

Present status – Y10

Students have completed their soldering training and are able to assemble simple circuits on PCB, and Breadboards. By most accounts they love the class! They are genuinely disappointed if the class is delayed because of other activities.

Next goal is to learn a bit of circuit theory, and begin to learn about digital circuits and how they work. We have much to go, but we have also achieved much in our inaugural year of STEM education at ACEP.

Text by Mr. James Harris

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