Project Examples

Switch Tester

Course: 116.100 Introduction to ECE
Semester: Fall 2007
Instructor: Xingwei Wang
Partner:Kennedy Day School and Shore Educational Collaborative in Chelsea (MDI)

In this project, students will build a switch tester, which is a device to test the functionality of big switches especially designed for disabled persons who have difficulty in handling standard size switches. Before the fabrication, a speaker from the hospital gave the students a talk about how the switch tester helps the disabled persons so that the students can understand that their study and work can contribute to society, can serve the community, and help people.

Students in this course learn soldering, layout, and basic circuit design; as a project the students applied all this knowledge to building a Switch Tester. A switch tester is a device to test the functionality of big switches especially designed for disabled persons who have difficulty in handling standard-size switches for control of lights, toys, wheelchairs, etc. In some nursing houses and hospitals, switch testers are needed in each room. A switch tester includes an LED, a resistance, and 2 AAA batteries inside a package. Each student was responsible for building one switch tester and the final product was delivered to nursing houses and hospitals. Students showed great interest in the projects and some even asked for working on more than one device for more experience. Xingwei Wang comments on how the dynamics of the project and the division of the students into groups gave her the opportunity to help each student “one by one”: “I have better communication with each student”. She also comments that: “The students show greater interest in the class and the community also would like us to continue this cooperation”.