The hands-on technology events are made available for everyone that is currently signed up on the Purdue Pugwash email list. These events are made possible due to student board members who specialize in the fields that are the focus for the projects. Below is an example of two events that we have hosted throughout the years.
For the featured 3D LED Christmas Tree & LED Heart events, 30 kits were bought and distributed to those who attended our event. The kit included the following parts: 24 flashing LEDs, 8 resistors (4 1kW, 2 82 kW, 2 100 kW), 4 10 mF capacitors, 4 transistors, and the 2 circuit boards). The kit required about an hour to be assembled and tested to make sure the tree worked properly. The PC board display has 4 "branches," which gives a 3D depth look. The tree is powered from a 9V battery that is placed at the base of the tree to act like the “trunk.”
The PC board includes through hole assembly, which provides a quick and easy way to place all the components onto the board mechanically. Once the parts were in their proper placements, the student would then solder the component in. This provided the electrical connection for the PC board and allowed current to flow throughout. On the back of these boards are a copper pathway, which allows the flow of the current to be carried throughout the tree. The battery is the source of the voltage and current needed to "turn on" the components. The resistors implement electrical resistance so a percentage flow of current creates no overflow to break any components. The capacitors act as a storage device that stores energy electrostatically in an electric field. The transistors act as a switch which alters the way in which the current flows. The transistor will direct current either to a drain, which runs the current directly to the ground bus, or will direct current through the LEDs. These transistors allow the LEDs to flash by determine which direction the current flows.
At the conclusion of these events, students were able to take home their trees and hearts show them off to friends and families in time for the holidays. The events are a great success as it provides an educational and valuable learning experience for all those who attend. Students who came in with no knowledge of soldering leave learning a new skill and beginner knowledge of electrical systems that they could take with them into the real world.