My Experience at BSE

During my two weeks at BSE I have acquired a plethora of knowledge on the electrical side of engineering. Upon my short stay at the program I created three starter projects: Drawdio, TV-B-Gone, and Light Organ. My first starter project, Drawdio, required me to learn how to solder. This was my first soldering experience and required hours of practice to get it right. This was my first time actually mantling a circuit board and seeing the different parts such as: resistors, transistors, IC, and the list goes on. This pencil makes different noises based on touch and sensor from the copper wire and intense use of graphite. After successfully completing this project I realized that this was something I enjoyed doing, but, the process only got harder.

My second starter project was the TV-B-Gone. This project gave me the hardest time with many obstacles. This device was constructed of LED’s, resistors, transistors, capacitors, etc. This project caught my attention when I saw that with a click of a button it could turn a TV off. Little did I know that it would not be a click of a button to put together. Unlike the drawdio, the TV-B-Gone had LED lights as well as positive and negative wires. My main trouble came when I had to solder the wires into their proper sockets. After 2-3 days I placed them properly in the right places, but failed by burning the button when doing so. All of my hard soldering went to accidentally burning the circuit board. However, I continuously looked at how to fix these different obstacles to my finished project of the TV-B-Gone.

Lastly, my starter project 3, which gave me the least trouble and only took me about 1.5 days to finish. This organ has the capability to light up three different colors when sound is heard through the microphone. The main difference with the Light Organ compared to my other projects were the directions. Electronically, my other two projects directions appeared on various websites, which helped me, as a beginner, follow the terms and the pictures as I was assembled the parts together. This kit came with a paper version of the directions which looked a lot different from internet directions. With the Light Organ I was required to think more and really dig into the process of how it worked. I also successfully finished this project and presented it to the class. In the two weeks of this program I have gained more hands on knowledge than I would in one year in a regular classroom. Working with other teammates who have the same interest is inspiring and helps with the motivation factor. If I had the opportunity to return I would take the chance in a heartbeat and try and stay for the whole six weeks to get the full experience of BSE. This program has challenged me in positive ways, and has taught me not to give up when things get hard because in the end it all pays off.

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