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EMP develop custom electronics GCSE circuit boards to aid student experience at Wavell School

EMP has been working with local specialist technology college, The Wavell School, and teacher Tom Nobron, supporting students on their final projects for Electronics GCSE. Dan Stanton went along to help ensure the 32 student projects were up and running for their deadline. Following discussions with the teacher, EMP designed and built circuit boards to improve the learning experience and project success.

The GCSE projects involved creating a scoring system by building circuit boards that showed a number via a 7 segment LED display (as on a digital clock). The number was required to increase by one at the press of a button.

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To do this, students were required to demonstrate their understanding of the electronics processes that make this happen, solder components onto the circuit board and simulate the circuit in software.

As with most technology, circuit boards are getting smaller, which is great for the general advance of products, but not so great when you are learning soldering and electronics for the first time. Dan encountered many frustrated students, and spent an intense morning trying to help the students deliver functioning systems.

After discussions with Mr Nobron, back at EMP Dan designed a larger circuit board, with enlarged solder pads to help simplify the soldering. The idea was to enable students to learn and use the necessary techniques in exactly the same way, but with equipment that allowed them to produce a high quality functional product more easily. EMP then built and supplied the school with the new circuit boards.

The new boards were so successful that the next time Dan went in to support the final projects, he spent 4 hours making tea! EMP has continued to build and supply boards to the school. Wavell students have continued to succeed. Here’s to the next generation of engineers!