Linz, April 22nd, 2017: Nine students with migration background participated in a workshop on electronics that was organized by the Linz Center of Mechatronics GmbH (LCM). The teenagers not only learned about the basic electronic components and about what a multimeter can do, but also actively carried out simple circuit calculations and measurements. In the last part of the workshop, they delved into the world of the Arduino microcontroller and recreated everyday electronic applications.

Staff member Florian Hammer held a workshop on electronics for scholars of the START-grants for socially-engaged students with a migration background ( on April 22nd. After an introduction to the world of electric circuits, the nine teenagers learned about various electronic components such as resistor, light-emitting-diode (LED), capacitor and transistor. Based on a color code table, they determined the nominal values of the resistors they were given and calculated the theoretic tolerance limit values. Using a multimeter, they verified whether the actual value of the resistors lay within the limits. The calculation of voltages and currents of parallel and series circuits using Ohm’s law required some mathematical craft. The students learned that they need to apply a pre-resistor when using a LED as to limit the respective current and avoid its damage. After measuring the forward voltages of different-colored LEDs they noticed that each color exhibits a certain voltage range. Mr. Hammer then illustrated this by means of the respective characteristic curves for each color. As two further important components, the capacitor that stores charges and the transistor as used as a switch were covered.

The Arduino development environment provides an easy start into the world of microcontrollers. In the last part of the workshop, the students recreated everyday applications using Arduino-boards. They learned to distinguish RFID-Tags and imitated the automatic display rotation of smartphones using accelerometer sensors.

We give thanks to the coodinator of START-Oberösterreich, Magdalena Rainer, for the invitation to carry out this interactive workshop with the young and motivated scholarship holders.

Link to a review of the workshop written by a student (START website):

Photo Source: START/Magdalena Rainer

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