PRICE, C.B., 2000. Systems and control 8 to 13 with C-programming and industrial microcontrollers. IN: Kimbell, R. (ed.). Design and Technology International Millennium Conference. Wellesbourne : The D&T Association, pp. 140-145
There are a number of excellent commercial kits useful for teaching systems and
control (SC) available for education. In setting up SC at Malvern College, we opted to
engage our electronics expertise in the design and development of our own in-house
microcontroller system. This research project aimed to develop a system while
simultaneously teaching with it, to explore how pupil feedback could be directly
incorporated in the design. This is truly a systems approach! This paper describes the
evolution of the hard and software, over the 6-month design and development period.
In particular the emergence of pupil capability is described and examples of direct
influence of this on the system design. Our work involved pupils from years 8 to 13
with particular emphasis on years 8,9 and 10,11. In section 2 of this paper we
introduce aims of the research and details of the system. Sections 3 and 4 describe
how the system was used in teaching. The dynamics of the evolution of the system are
discussed in section 6.