Digital Electronics Course Background
Project Lead The Way
This class is one of the courses in the Project Lead The Way program. PLTW is a national inititive that has developed classes to encourage interest in the technology careers that will be abundant in the 21st century. For more information about this program see the MTHS Project Lead The Way Website link at the bottom of this page.
Digital Electronics Class Information:
The second course in the Project Lead The Way sequence is Digital Electronics. As the world continues to become more reliant upon electronics, knowledge of Digital Electronics will continue to be more valuable in the workforce. Students in Digital Electronics learn the circuitry that is utilized to build basic computer processors. To accomplish this, students build a number of computer simulated and live circuits through the school year. One example control circuit that students build is a voting machine where there is a president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer. While each of these members have a vote, the circuit that the students build will cause a light to go on if there is a majority vote. Likewise, if there is a tie vote, the president will have the overriding vote. The Digital Electronics course concludes the school year with students programming BOE Bot microprocessors/ robots to perform various class competitions.
Opportunities for Girls in PLTW
Many girls across the nation have been realizing their interests through the Project Lead The Way program. The PLTW link at the bottom of this site will direct you to more information about how Girls have attained success in Project Lead The Way classes.
Video: Digital Electronics Voting Machine Circuit
Digital Electronics Voting Machine Circuit:
One of the first Major Projects in the Digital Electronics class is building a control circuit that serves as a voting machine. The following video shows a student with his completed voting machine. In this project, students design an intuitive electrical control circuit that determines when a vote has passed for a group of four individuals. Since there are four voters, the control circuit must decide when a majority vote has passed, and thus display a light indicator. Likewise, students design this machine to allow the vote to pass if the president votes “yes” in a tie vote. This is a tremendous project, and students are reminded that they do not need any knowledge of electronics before taking this course.
Video: Date of Birth Circuit
This is a fun circuit that the DE class builds to better understand how to build other incredible electronics projects, and also understand the combinational logic behind how computer processors work. Students are reminded that they do not have to have any electronics background before taking this course.
Video: DOE Bots
One fun project the DE students complete is learning to program a Basic Stamp microprocessor on a small BOE Bot car. Students can program these to sense objects, maneuver mazes, seek out light, and also follow a line. The following video is a short clip of part of a class race that the students programmed their BOE Bots for.
Video: Elevator Door Project
Elevator Door Project:
One of the final projects the DE class completes is an Elevator Door prototype. For this project, students design a state machine that is programmed into an FPGA board. This project is supposed to open a door when a switch is pressed on the elevator door prototype. When the door reaches its open limit, it then stops the motor. When a switch is pressed on the FPGA board, the motor then closes the door until it reaches its closed limit.