Project Examples

Design of a Power Meter for the Tsongas Waterwheel Displays

Course: 16.365 - Electronics I
Semester: Spring 2006
Instructor: Joel Therrien
Partner:Tsongas Industrial History Museum

Brief Description:

Community objectives met by this project included improvement of the waterwheel exhibit experience and comprehension for Tsongas Museum visitors by displaying the actual power being generated by the wheels. Deliverables provided to the community partner through this service-learning project included development of several circuit options that were relayed to the museum.

Full Description:

The Tsongas Industrial History Museum partnered with Joel Therrien and the Electronics I students on a SLICE project titled: Design of a Power Meter for the Tsongas Waterwheel Displays. For this project, students were instructed to come up with a circuit for measuring and displaying the power generated by the waterwheels on display at the museum. Students used concepts of amplifiers and transistors, a central component of the engineering course, to design the circuits. During the s-l project, students demonstrated an increased interest in the course subject matter when presented with what one student called a “real” problem.

Community objectives met by this project included improvement of the waterwheel exhibit experience and comprehension for Tsongas Museum visitors by displaying the actual power being generated by the wheels. Deliverables provided to the community partner through this service-learning project included development of several circuit options that were relayed to the museum. Positive results for the community partner were generated through enhancement of the waterwheel experience at the museum, thereby adding more educational value to the exhibit.

The community partner also provided on-site supervision and helpful communication with students regarding the s-l project.