On 29 November, a group of Year 9 students visited the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Nottingham, along with teams from two other schools. Teams of three students were challenged to use an Arduino Uno micro controller (a tiny computer) and an encoder wheel to build a measuring device to estimate the distance around Wollaton Park from a map. A second challenge was to build an electronic counter to display results. The groups had to connect the components together, work out the maths to convert the electrical signals into accurate measurements, programme the Arduino to count, output their results, and then submit their final answer. Although Emmanuel teams did not provide the most accurate estimate, all the teams were incredibly close to the correct distance. Emmanuel teams also completed the second challenge with enough time to spare that they were given an extension challenge.
Jessamine said “ it was interesting to understand how electronics are put together and the effort that goes into one small project”.
Most impressive of all though was the level of the challenge – it is a task normally given to Foundation Degree students, but these students completed it within the time allowed!