Author Topic: School children and take it apart.  (Read 7613 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline aargee

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 726
  • Country: au
School children and take it apart.
« on: August 14, 2015, 02:17:26 am »
Hi all,

Our local school is going to run a program of 'how it works' by simply letting 12-13 year old's pull apart old cassette players and other 'safe' devices.

I think it's an excellent way of getting them the 'knack'. No force feeding micro-controllers, electronics or anything else. Pulling it apart (and maybe putting it back together again), just screwdrivers, pliers,wire cutters, etc.

The trick is finding enough scrap devices that are battery operated or safe (mains cable removed, no large stored voltages) small AC powered gadgets. Thankfully kerbside pickup is coming up for our area.  :)
Not easy, not hard, just need to be incentivised.
 

Online tautech

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 16333
  • Country: nz
  • Taupaki Technologies Ltd. NZ Siglent Distributor
    • Taupaki Technologies Ltd.
Re: School children and take it apart.
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2015, 02:55:00 am »
Hmmm

There was a thread on just this subject some time back and IIRC consensus was that even though many of us started our electronics interest in this way it was not appropriate for a learning intitution to follow this path.

Schools should be offering basic electronic and other engineering classes as part of the curiculum, period.

These where the choices my kids had from year 7 (11-12 yr olds) and my youngest topped his year in intermediate and high school.

Having also spent 5 yrs as a school trustee I could not support this MO of teaching, it is not active learning that teaches the way simple circuits work.

Thumbs down from me.  :--


Avid Rabid Hobbyist
 

Offline HackedFridgeMagnet

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1939
  • Country: au
Re: School children and take it apart.
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2015, 03:17:41 am »
Sounds like the kids would enjoy it more than ohms law etc.
Good to put tools in the kids hands too.  :-+

 

Online tautech

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 16333
  • Country: nz
  • Taupaki Technologies Ltd. NZ Siglent Distributor
    • Taupaki Technologies Ltd.
Re: School children and take it apart.
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2015, 03:35:42 am »
Sounds like the kids would enjoy it more than ohms law etc.
Good to put tools in the kids hands too.  :-+
Ohms law is beyond normal 12-13 year olds understanding.

Yes. but make that tool a soldering iron.  :-+

Something my daughter soldered at intermediate shool ~16 Yrs ago at age ~12.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2015, 03:54:42 am by tautech »
Avid Rabid Hobbyist
 

Offline Joule Thief

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 249
  • Country: us
Re: School children and take it apart.
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2015, 03:57:00 am »
I raised three daughters on the principle that nothing - electrical or mechanical - left this house without one of them tearing the device apart. Hair dryers, cassette players, corded drills, etc all provided one last contribution to this household before they hit the landfill or were recycled.

To this day I still remember my middle daughter doing "surgery" on her little stuff pig "Rosebud". Seems Rosebud wasn't responding to a squeeze on the stomach any longer. Normally she would let out a cute little piggie squeal. Surgery revealed a broken wire to the speaker in Rosebud's digestive tract. A quick touch-up with a soldering iron and a few stitches had her back in fine order. Some 20 years latter, my daughter made a living as a diagnostician working on cars and then diesel engines.

Obviously, I give a  :-+ to your efforts.
Perturb and observe.
 

Offline alsetalokin4017

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1920
  • Country: us
Re: School children and take it apart.
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2015, 04:27:36 am »
Quote
Ohms law is beyond normal 12-13 year olds understanding.

I'm sure glad nobody told _me_ that when I was that age, as I was tearing apart surplus military gear and reassembling the parts to make radios, phone bugs, audio oscillators and light displays etc.

But then, nobody accused me of being "normal" either.   :scared:
The easiest person to fool is yourself. -- Richard Feynman
 

Offline aargee

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 726
  • Country: au
Re: School children and take it apart.
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2015, 04:37:54 am »
Well, it's not part of the formal science/engineering teaching program. It is not meant to teach how circuits work, ohm's law, soldering or anything else so specific.
It is extra-curricular and meant to develop curiosity and exploration, this will engage far more students than an integrated engineering subject. As the partner of a teacher (no, not involved in this program), I think a class full of eager to learn students beats a class full of reticent students with soldering irons strapped to their hands, any time.

What this will do is fire up those 'how does this work' questions, give an awareness of the workings of devices and gadgets and at the end of it all may drive the hunger for engineering knowledge in a number of them.

Thumbs up here  :-+... I think the trick is to stop them going home and dismantling everything there without good reason. I few parents might be  :wtf: :o
Not easy, not hard, just need to be incentivised.
 

Offline TheElectricChicken

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 480
  • Country: au
Re: School children and take it apart.
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2015, 06:00:15 am »
Our local school is going to run a program of 'how it works' by simply letting 12-13 year old's pull apart old cassette players and other 'safe' devices.

THIS IS BRILLIANT. EVERYONE SHOULD SUGGEST THIS TO THEIR SCHOOL.

Ohms law is beyond normal 12-13 year olds understanding.

I missed the relationship between puberty and Ohms law, can you refresh me on that one ?

I raised three daughters on the principle that nothing - electrical or mechanical - left this house without one of them tearing the device apart.

Some 20 years latter, my daughter made a living as a diagnostician working on cars and then diesel engines.

She missed out on a thrillingly oppressive job as a secretarial assistant in a tax office., tsk tsk tsk. where will she get her suicidal inspiration from now. DO YOU KNOW just HOW MUCH this is going to cost the pharmaceutical companies in lost anti-depressant revenue ? why does nobody ever think of the shareholders, you're horrible !

Thumbs up here  :-+... I think the trick is to stop them going home and dismantling everything there without good reason. I few parents might be  :wtf: :o

That's what kids do on any given normal day. It's just that they'll do it with a different mindset. The house gets torn to shreds either way.
 

Offline bills

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 350
  • Country: us
Re: School children and take it apart.
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2015, 06:03:54 am »
One of the problems we have here in the states is that everyone thinks they need a masters degree and when they get it they maybe get a  job that pays 20-50 k per year with 100k+ in student debt.
Jobs that require skills (ie welders, electricians ,maintenance workers ) go un filled because not many have the skills these jobs require they start at 50k to 70k per year WTF why are we not teaching these in our schools?
When I retired my employer had 12 months notice, they could not find anyone to fill my position for 2 months after I left.
(not that I am that good) Just no one learn these skills?
Yes we should do everything we can to teach the the next generation any skills that we can.
bill
 
Never argue with idiots. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.
 

Offline TheElectricChicken

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 480
  • Country: au
Re: School children and take it apart.
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2015, 06:16:26 am »
Yes we should do everything we can to teach the the next generation any skills that we can.

good philosophy. I go further to think everyone should treat life like a videogame and get as many upgrades as they can. Skills are the same as upgrades in a game. Level up!!! . You can use skills no matter what turns life or the economy bring, no matter where you move to across the planet. It's the only way to prepare for the unknown.

Are they still bailing out only the rich banksters in the USA with your money ? or are they bailing out students drowning in debt yet ?
 

Offline bills

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 350
  • Country: us
Re: School children and take it apart.
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2015, 06:20:22 am »
Both.
some of us still care.
bill
Never argue with idiots. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.
 

Offline TheElectricChicken

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 480
  • Country: au
Re: School children and take it apart.
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2015, 06:26:47 am »
Both.

ah yes. I heard Max Keiser talking about community organizations buying and then retiring student debt for pennies on the dollar.
 

Offline Electric flower

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 83
  • Country: hr
Re: School children and take it apart.
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2015, 08:42:38 am »
When i was like 10 I had an awesome teacher from subject "technical culture" and we were soldering a kit astable blinky with 2 LEDs, when it worked and I felt like Tesla was an alpha version of me...

Few months ago I went with school to university in Split (FESB) and for electronics they had presentation of things they built with an Arduino to control and monitor quadcopters, just rubbish in my opinion. I don't consider that building, for me it's more like being consumer than builder.
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
All play and no work makes Jack a mere toy.
 

Offline MikeW

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 104
  • Country: gb
  • Self confessed noob
Re: School children and take it apart.
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2015, 08:46:18 am »
Sounds like the kids would enjoy it more than ohms law etc.
Good to put tools in the kids hands too.  :-+
Ohms law is beyond normal 12-13 year olds understanding.

It's a pretty simple piece of algebra. We were doing harder algebra at that age.
 

Offline Deathwish

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 1426
  • Country: wales
Re: School children and take it apart.
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2015, 09:05:18 am »
I love a good argument, never let teachers decide what is or is not teaching. Any knowledge passed to a child in any way is teaching, even if it is not structured, we have the occasional hawkinge, or such but where are all the brunels etc  (this list could be endless so one will do ) of the victorian age and before. Standing in a dole queue or a street corner texting their mates about the next score they will be making never realising their true potential because teachers said no no we have to go by the national curriculum and health and safety said, no teaching that subject is dangerous.
Electrons are typically male, always looking for any hole to get into.
trying to strangle someone who talks out of their rectal cavity will fail, they can still breath.
God hates North Wales, he has put my home address on the blacklist of all couriers with instructions to divert all parcels.
 

Online sleemanj

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2422
  • Country: nz
  • Professional tightwad.
    • The electronics hobby components I sell.
Re: School children and take it apart.
« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2015, 01:06:16 pm »
Ohms law is beyond normal 12-13 year olds understanding.

No it's not.  They don't need to understand WHY ohm's law exists, just how and when to apply it in it's fundamental 3 forms.  In fact, I'd say that teaching the application of Ohm's law is a really important thing because it will by it's very nature drum in that whole voltage is relative thing, that so many people new to the hobby (field in general) get mixed up about.

~~~
EEVBlog Members - get yourself 10% discount off all my electronic components for sale just use the Buy Direct links and use Coupon Code "eevblog" during checkout.  Shipping from New Zealand, international orders welcome :-)
 

Offline German_EE

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2306
  • Country: de
Re: School children and take it apart.
« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2015, 02:27:18 pm »
"Ohms law is beyond normal 12-13 year olds understanding."

Rubbish, this is simple multiplication and division, something I was learning well before my tenth birthday. Every Monday I have visitors, an eight year old kid from a neighboring apartment and his mother. She sits on the couch and reads her Blick for a few hours whilst I teach young Klaus about basic electronics, we moved on from Ohms Law months ago.

Find someone who wants to learn and stuff like Ohms law will be left behind in the dust. As for the idea of taking stuff apart, go for it  :-+
Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.

Warren Buffett
 

Offline c4757p

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 7805
  • Country: us
  • adieu
Re: School children and take it apart.
« Reply #17 on: August 14, 2015, 02:30:43 pm »
Ohm's law isn't even algebra at its core, it's the simple concept that if you push electrons twice as hard into something, twice as many will move through it. Surely they can understand that.
No longer active here - try the IRC channel if you just can't be without me :)
 

Offline rickselectricalprojects

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 189
  • Country: au
Re: School children and take it apart.
« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2015, 11:20:12 am »
Sounds like the kids would enjoy it more than ohms law etc.
Good to put tools in the kids hands too.  :-+
Ohms law is beyond normal 12-13 year olds understanding.

Yes. but make that tool a soldering iron.  :-+

Something my daughter soldered at intermediate shool ~16 Yrs ago at age ~12.

i am 14 now and i learnt and understood ohms law when i was 13. also ohms law was used as an example in my year 8 text book and everyone understood it.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2015, 11:22:41 am by rickselectricalprojects »
 

Offline rickselectricalprojects

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 189
  • Country: au
Re: School children and take it apart.
« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2015, 11:23:44 am »
i think anything to try and get kids interested in electronics is good  :-+
 

Offline eas

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 593
  • Country: us
    • Tech Obsessed
Re: School children and take it apart.
« Reply #20 on: August 28, 2015, 08:55:48 pm »
I love a good argument, never let teachers decide what is or is not teaching. Any knowledge passed to a child in any way is teaching, even if it is not structured, we have the occasional hawkinge, or such but where are all the brunels etc  (this list could be endless so one will do ) of the victorian age and before. Standing in a dole queue or a street corner texting their mates about the next score they will be making never realising their true potential because teachers said no no we have to go by the national curriculum and health and safety said, no teaching that subject is dangerous.

Teaching is one of those things that are too important to leave solely to "experts," but I think the same is true of most things. If you accept that though, you can't really lay the blame for "kids today" on teachers, can you, at least not without some combination of stupidity and dishonesty.

I don't know how it is in the UK, but in the US, I think teachers often take a defensive posture that ends up being counter-productive for themselves, their profession, their students, and society, but I also understand why they act that way.

I think at the root, public school teachers have never been really adequately compensated economically. This is in part because of the values of the profession, that their reward has never been solely monetary. It is in part entwined with the fact that teaching was one of the few professions open to women. Combine the willingness to work for less with the lack of other options, and you have a profession that is broadly underpaid. That cost was subsidized by the teachers and their families, often young women who taught before marrying and having kids, "spinsters," and women with working husbands who wanted to make extra money and/or needed a challenge outside the household. Women gained a wider range of career opportunities though, and rather than adjusting to that fact by paying higher salaries, society continued to underpay. This has likely led to a decline in the average quality of teachers, but it has also made all teachers suspicious and defensive of outside critics. This pressure is made worse by the fact that teaching isn't that something that benefits tremendously from the "efficiency" that drives down the cost of many other goods and services.

The other issue is that people don't actually understand teaching. They might think they do, because, they went through a couple of decades of education as students, but it isn't that simple. People often don't understand how THEY learn, and they apply that incorrect or incomplete understanding to how other people learn, and by extension, to teaching. The fundamental problem is that people are assessing their mind, and how it changes, using their mind, as it changes.

None of this is to say that teaching doesn't have a significant number of problems, it does, but I find myself, once again, suggesting that treating people with respect, rather than contempt, is a better way forward.

I personally love the idea of giving kids opportunities to take things apart. I am as confident as I can be about anything that it was an important part of my childhood. In fact, I was so sure of it then, that when I was 13 or so, I criticized my younger brother for not doing more of it himself. And yet, as an adult, he is quite competent at making and fixing things, so clearly, I was overconfident in my understanding of how people work.

This may well be one of those things that some teachers or others with self-professed expertise or authority will object to. My experience is that, often, the best route forward is to nod politely, and then keep looking for people who are interested. Start with the people who get it, and then build on that experience and success -- fortunately, it sounds like that has already happened in aargee's area.

I'm very interested to hear about how it goes, because I've been entertaining thoughts about doing something similar.
 

Offline DimitriP

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1054
  • Country: us
  • "Best practices" are best not practiced.© Dimitri
Re: School children and take it apart.
« Reply #21 on: August 28, 2015, 09:08:54 pm »
If it's an "after school" activity it can be anything that's legal (well, at least defandable in court :) )  . No more - no less.

   If three 100  Ohm resistors are connected in parallel, and in series with a 200 Ohm resistor, how many resistors do you have? 
 

Offline DimitriP

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1054
  • Country: us
  • "Best practices" are best not practiced.© Dimitri
Re: School children and take it apart.
« Reply #22 on: August 28, 2015, 09:20:43 pm »
One of the problems we have here in the states is that everyone thinks they need a masters degree and when they get it they maybe get a  job that pays 20-50 k per year with 100k+ in student debt.
Jobs that require skills (ie welders, electricians ,maintenance workers ) go un filled because not many have the skills these jobs require they start at 50k to 70k per year WTF why are we not teaching these in our schools?
When I retired my employer had 12 months notice, they could not find anyone to fill my position for 2 months after I left.
(not that I am that good) Just no one learn these skills?
Yes we should do everything we can to teach the the next generation any skills that we can.
bill

But now put yourself in the shoes of the esteemed educators of you city/county/district/state/
College entrance stats  and GPA stats are far more valuable in PR than having taught  students to weld, or turn a wrench or a screwdriver or  credit management or investing or anything else that most people end up having to learn after they get their first job....eventually....or not.... . 


 
   If three 100  Ohm resistors are connected in parallel, and in series with a 200 Ohm resistor, how many resistors do you have? 
 

Offline fivefish

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 439
  • Country: us
Re: School children and take it apart.
« Reply #23 on: August 28, 2015, 09:33:24 pm »
I think a few decades ago, schools still have "shop class", and "music class." Those have been either axed away, or cut back due to "budget constraints".

But daaammmmmnnnnn.... look at the real estate, resources, and budgets devoted to the sacred sports of football and basketball. If you even suggest a cutback on these areas and funnel the money to other education resources (computer lab, science lab, etc), you will be deemed a heretic and ostracized.
 

Offline Rick Law

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2712
  • Country: us
Re: School children and take it apart.
« Reply #24 on: August 28, 2015, 09:37:30 pm »
...
Teaching is one of those things that are too important to leave solely to "experts," but I think the same is true of most things. If you accept that though, you can't really lay the blame for "kids today" on teachers, can you, at least not without some combination of stupidity and dishonesty.

I don't know how it is in the UK, but in the US, I think teachers often take a defensive posture that ends up being counter-productive for themselves, their profession, their students, and society, but I also understand why they act that way.

I think at the root, public school teachers have never been really adequately compensated economically.
...
...

I personally think the best teacher would be one who has worked in the field.  Those who come out of college with a teaching degree and spend their entire life teaching would not understand real-world.

Everyday, we have tons of people retiring from a variety of industry and a variety of roles.  They would make great teachers up to and including high school.

Our student performance are awful.  So, I think teachers are over compensated for the low quality of the job they performed.  As it is, however good a job the teachers did, or however bad a job they did, they make the same.  That doesn't make sense.

So, some other means must be introduced to improve performance.  Until then, we should make it as local as possible.  With local control, at least some locale would have better performance rather than the whole country going down the tube.
 


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf