Fall 2016 – Week 3 Class Notes

I hope you all enjoyed week 3 as much as I did! This week we really managed to start diving into each subject.

Computer Programming

In computer programming, we did the first computer simulation from chapter 5. As I mentioned, this is somewhat tangential to the actual class, but I find that people who know how the computer works form better intuitions about everything regarding programming. So that is where we are starting. Next week we will have the computer lab again and we will begin doing web pages, so come prepared to type!

The reading for this week is chapter 5. There is not much homework this week in the “Apply” section of the book, so what I want you to do is to bring me your papers that you filled out running the simulation.

Now, a lot of people get confused on the simulation, so I have a video to help you out:

Also, instead of drawing the worksheet yourself, you can download pre-drawn sheets from here:


So, you do need to answer the apply section, but the biggest part of your homework will be the simulation.

NEXT WEEK – your big homework assignment from section 1 is due. Remember, what we are doing is picking one homework activity that best represents your work in this class and turning it in for a grade. I would prefer this be printed out. Since there was very little programming in this class, some decent choices might be – (a) the technology essay, (b) for the younger students, writing out a full sentence in ASCII, or (c) doing a simulation (you might even pick out one of the “extra” simulations at the back of the book to try).


This is the first week we really got our hands dirty. We learned to use a breadboard and a multimeter, and this is essentially what we will use for the rest of the year.

For the book – BE SURE YOU DOWNLOAD THE LATEST VERSION OF THE BOOK! http://bplearning.net/electrobook
I swapped out this weeks and next weeks’ chapters, so the chapter you should be reading is “Chapter 6: Constructing and Testing Circuits”. We will do series/parallel next week. This chapter has a lot of hands-on exercises with your breadboard.

Note that on some of the breadboards, the power rails only go half way across! This is indicated visually by a break in the red and blue lines. Also, a few of you had multimeters that were on the edge of being able to work or not. If those wind up being faulty, let me know.

Remember, everyone needs to bring their box each week! Otherwise you will wind up just watching the rest of us do electronics.


This week we started getting into derivatives! The derivative is when most people start to see the kind of inventive things that people can do with math. Remember that everything we did with derivatives stemmed from the simple definitions of lines and what it meant to be a line. All we did was to take the point-slope formula and trick it into giving us the answers we wanted.

Remember to download the latest version of the book!

I look forward to seeing everybody next week!

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