Students from La Trobe University set out to be a part of the annual Scouts Electronics Weekend at Clifford Park Activity Centre on 26/07/2014 . 50 scouts from 4 different troops from around Victoria participated in the activity which gave the scouts an opportunity to get hands on experience with electronics and amateur radio.
Matthew Felicetti, who is currently undertaking a Computer System Engineering degree and chairs the IEEE La Trobe student branch, was able to not only bring in knowledge in the field of programming and electronics but also explained how they are related. This helped open the scouts' eyes to opportunities in the field of engineering and gave them an understanding of robotics and other electronic systems whilst also utilizing skills in practical electronics at a technical level. Farid Mehmood Imtiaz, who is currently undertaking a Electronic Engineering degree, introduced circuit analysis and power systems to the scouts helping them learn how to read basic circuit diagrams, recognize core components of an electronic circuit and also the value of well-engineered power systems.
Students began their day of workshops with a chance to interact with robots built by former La Trobe University students. The scouts were able to control them with the laptop provided and also a Wii remote. This intrigued and inspired them about what knowledge in electronics could lead to, whilst also observing the fundamentals of wireless robotics. Following this, the scouts got a quick introduction to the basic physics of electronics, the symbols used and an understanding of the components and building blocks of a circuit. Utilizing this knowledge and with hands on technical assistance from volunteers and La Trobe students, the scouts were able to make a buzzing alarm system and a simple audio amplifier. All of which was done using a schematic diagram, electronic components and a breadboard.
Students became part of this event through their involvement in the IEEE La Trobe student branch, the branch hopes to continue to connect and provide opportunities that allow students to advance their engineering skills that are not generally found in the classroom setting.