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Electronic Circuits & Components

On 8 May 2016 at 7:47am A Parent wrote:
Are there any clubs in Lewes for children interested in electronics and making simple circuits? Does anyone have any components (diodes, transistors, capacitors, bread boards etc etc) or old circuits (a crystal set?) we could take apart? My son is adsorbed in messing around with this and could do with meeting up with others interested in the same stuff (or in chemistry for that matter). Ages 10 to 15+ (including adults) would suit.
The recent STEM fair was great but Lewes still lacks any kind of on-going STEM stimulation for youngsters. Thanks for any siuiggestions...
On 8 May 2016 at 8:12am Jennifer wrote:
My daughter's school had a visit from someone in the Mid Sussex Amateur Radio Society. They hold meetings in Burgess Hill, and gave a class in electronics and radio waves. I found them again by searching on Google.
On 8 May 2016 at 8:33am bastian wrote:
maplins is still operating on the London road in Brighton, they have a catalogue from which you can buy all the componants and capacitors from there.
On 8 May 2016 at 8:40am Old school wrote:
All that stuff is very old school, I'm not saying it's not useful (but it probably isn't). I would suggest looking at things like arduino and pi. Same circuits but digitally controlling them with with a program, and you can build much more interesting things (3D printers etc). Again Maplins have an excellent range although I prefer eBay.
On 8 May 2016 at 8:45am Old school wrote:
Forgot to mention pi is part of the curriculum so school should be able to assist, although arduino is the one to go for.
On 8 May 2016 at 12:21pm Thermionic valve wrote:
Hello, A Parent. If your lad wants to dive in the modern age that's fine . But if he would like to start with a kind of history lesson, I have several books that were written when the radio was called "The wireless" I was wondering what to do with them and I would be pleased if they went to a good home. What do you think ?
On 9 May 2016 at 6:49am A Parent wrote:
Thanks for the feedback folks. I'll check out that radio club and we're already planning a trip to Maplins next weekend. Not against modern stuff but the Arduino Starter Kit is 70 on Amazon and I'd rather he learn the basics first, by trail and error. Still, thanks for the tip that this is better than the pi - I'll look at it again in a few months if the interest lasts.
Thermionic valve - if those books are aimed at the student or learner and are illustrated I'd be keen to take a look. You can email me at Tempinlewes. That's at yahoo.com.
On 9 May 2016 at 7:32am Old school wrote:
I typically pay around 10 for Arduinos on eBay, really wouldn't buy those from Maplins. Get some breadboards too, every circuit you can build normally can be used with arduino. Also with breadboards there's no soldering involved. You will get enough components on eBay for 4 or 5 projects for about 20. Don't let Maplins cost put you off.
On 9 May 2016 at 8:14am Merlin Milner wrote:
Whilst I agree that Pis and Arduinos / Genuinos are great for understanding mainly digital electronics and for writing software, however one also needs to understand the basics too, including analogue electronics. It not all about software, the hardware needs to be there. I am biased and work for an electronics manufacturer.
As one of the organisers of the STEM festival, I am hoping to have more electronics next year and hopefully that may act as springboard for an electronics club.
On 9 May 2016 at 8:21am bastian wrote:
Ther's nothing like understanding the wiring under the board first, to then understand the wonders of the digital age. To go forward, you must first look back to see where everything came from.
On 9 May 2016 at 9:48am Old school wrote:
Merlin and Bastian you're both implying you won't get an understanding of analogue electronics or the basics of wiring by using an Arduino, this of course is complete rubbish.
There are plenty of analogue circuits that can be developed with Arduino.
The reality is they are same circuits, same wiring, same electricity, same theories.
On 9 May 2016 at 11:20am Merlin Milner wrote:
OS, Arduinos / Genuinos are great and will of course give an understanding analogue etc. Was not meaning to do them down. However in addition designing from first principles with discrete components, powers supplies, etc. is very important and all tools are valid. The main things is to interest children in Engineering. Only 20% of UK kids have an interest in engineering compared with 80 % in India and China.
On 10 May 2016 at 5:32am A Parent wrote:
Merlin it was great to finally get a STEM festival in Lewes, especially one aimed at primary school children as well, but if only it had been more comprehensive! Suggestions for next year: components and bread boards with some example circuits for visitors to make; molecular modelling kits; more chemicals and lab apparatus; also something with pulleys and cogs or 'make your own engine'? You get the idea no doubt. Hardly suprising few UK kids have an interest in engineering when the primary schools push the arts so much. Even most STEM activities seem to assume children under 12 are 'not ready' for science and engineering.
Old School: thanks, good advice, I'll take an look on eBay. However we're not sure what we need! Hence the original query about clubs or others with an interest / expertise. Just been reading about thermionic valves....
On 10 May 2016 at 9:10am Merlin Milner wrote:
Parent. It was organised by volunteers mainly from the 'Blokes and babies' group that I help organise. It was the first one so perhaps you could help us for the next one and help make it more comprehensive. We made it low key because of money, time and ensuring that we did not over promise. We hope that next year we can do additional events and use the Corn Exchange too.
On 10 May 2016 at 1:59pm stephenwilkins wrote:
Parent: As another of the organisers I'd just like to reiterate what Merlin said. We're starting slowly but hope to build on the number and scope of events. I think it's likely we'll have some kind talk series (tentatively "Science on Tap" held in a pub) and a specific "Stargazing Lewes" event. A regular Lewes wide STEM club would be fantastic but there are all kinds of logistical difficulties to overcome.
Ultimately, some of these problems could be overcome with more people to help. At the moment there is a core 5 people who organise everything as volunteers. At some point we'll try and attract more helpers.
On 11 May 2016 at 10:50pm STEM Sussex wrote:
To agree fully with my Lewes STEMfest colleagues about the great need/ opportunities for future engineers in the UK.
And to offer some stats from the EngineeringUK 2016 Report:
There are currently 98,074 young people in Year 10 in SE schools.
There is a predicted need of 29,190 engineering skills per year till 2022 to meet estimated demand through retirements and new business.
That is a requirement of a THIRD of all young people per year group entering engineering at some level.

Check it out here »

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