1. Carolyn Nichol
  2. http://www.rstem.rice.edu/
  3. Building diverse computer engineers of the future using prototyping
  5. Rice University
  1. brandon martin
  3. Rice University

Computer Engineering Design

NSF Awards: 1406885

2016 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades 6-8

The Schlumberger-Rice Computer Engineering Design Academy introduced middle school girls to the field of computer engineering through hands-on technological experiences and real-world applications. Students were first introduced to circuits, input/output, microprocessors, and a programming language and then directly experimented into activities and projects. In week one, students were introduced to circuits, methods of input and output, microprocessors, and a programming language. Students first learned how electricity flows through materials and built their own basic circuits. Next they learned how to use electronic components to give a microprocessor, the Arduino Uno, inputs and obtain desired outputs. Students also became comfortable with writing sketches and downloading them onto the Arduino Uno. The final project was to create and command a “Car-duino”, a Bluetooth controlled car-like device.
In order to familiarize themselves with basic circuitry, students used both conductive and non-conductive play dough. Methods of input included potentiometers, flex sensors, buttons, soft potentiometers, photo resistors, and temperature sensors. Using circuit diagrams and provided codes, students learned how the components must be wired and commanded with sketches. Students created games using the pieces available and even related their projects to real world applications. Finally, students used computer commands such as For, If/Else, and While to write their car code.

The culminating event was a demonstration and presentations on the last day for family, guests, and the Rice community.

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