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Good high school project?

PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:16 am
by Shadowmoon
Hello,
I am a high school teacher who teaches an advance physics course with about 15 seniors. Many have build experience from being on the robotics team and have aspirations of being engineers. After AP testing in early May, we end up with 4 weeks of down time before graduation. Because of this I always look for projects to keep them out of trouble. I do have a few questions.
1. Has anyone had experience doing this project in a high school setting? If so, what advise would you give?
2. Approximately how long does contruction take?
3. Can the labor be divided between teams? Thinking of having four teams, one to build the interuptor, one to build the logic board, one to build the secondary coil, and the last to qa the boards using multimeters to verify no shorts or bad connections.
4. If we go forward with this project, when would an order need to be placed so it arrives late April.
Thanks for any insight given.

Re: Good high school project?

PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 9:54 am
by jpendric
No experience with this as a high school project, but I would say:
- 4 weeks is more than enough time to complete this. I would say two weeks based on how you have proposed to divide up the work.
- Have the team practice their soldering skills before tackling the boards. The interrupter is not too difficult, but the main logic board is tight and will be unforgiving to soldering mistakes.
- The primary failure for the kit in general might be flashover of the secondary coil. Assembling the ends of the coil correctly is critical. Wire hanging inside the coil tube, humidity inside the tube, etc. anything that reduces the impedance between the secondary coil bolt ends will result in coil failure. You have to make sure you don't improve the conduction path on the inside skin of the coil tube beyond what you receive as a clean, dry, full length tube surface. Some folks have varnished the inside of the tube, or installed an additional mechanical "plug" inside the tube. The plug could be another disk (like those provided in the kit for the coil end caps" glued a third of the way down the tube, making an air tight barrier.