The Crystal Clear Electronics curriculum was successfully completed by 2020, and has already been adopted by several educational institutions for the 2020/2021 school year. During the implementation of the project, many readers expressed their wish to continue the curriculum. After consulting with the authors and the partnership representatives, we decided to compile the topics of the Crystal Clear Electronics 2 curriculum. Our application "Developing an innovative curriculum on electronics and programming for public education" was supported by the Tempus Public Foundation under the Erasmus+ programme, which gave us the opportunity to develop an innovative, practical electronics curriculum focusing on programming. Our writers, proofreaders and editors are engineers working in industry, so, as in Crystal Clear Electronics 1, the reader is guided by practitioners. The basic and background knowledge essential for understanding the course is covered in the first chapters, which then move on from simpler circuit programming to more complex software control and finally to embedded operating systems. As in the first part, the second part of Crystal Clear Electronics emphasises practical knowledge transfer and interactive teaching, with practical examples embedded in each chapter for each relevant step. The examples can be tested using a specially designed development panel and example code that can be downloaded with the course material, so readers can actually try their hand at programming from Chapter 4 onwards. During the Crystal Clear Electronics workshops and international education event, a large proportion of students worked on laptops, but the same proportion opened the PDF parts of the course on mobile phones. It became immediately clear that learning would be facilitated by an intuitive mobile application with structured access to different resources.
The international consortium Crystal Clear Electronics 2 is led by XTALIN Engineering Ltd., based in Csepreg, Hungary, which is responsible for the financial and technical management of the project, the development (production) of the multilingual teaching material and the dissemination of the results as widely as possible. The partnership also includes 2 high schools and a foundation of a high school (1 Hungarian, 1 Romanian, 1 Slovakian). Their main tasks are to test the curriculum in the course of workshops and international educational events, to identify errors and shortcomings, to discuss suggestions for improvement with the coordinator and to participate actively in the dissemination of the curriculum, which is essential for its wider distribution.
- Xtalin Engineering Ltd (coordinator)
- ELTE Bolyai János Practical Primary School and High School
- Bolyai Farkas High School
- Madách Imre High School in cooperation with the Pro Ratio Foundation
During our 30-month project cycle, our goal is to create a multilingual curriculum that, unlike our first curriculum, has a strong embedded electronics programming focus, leading students from the emergence and evolution of microcontrollers to the use of operating systems and file systems on microcontrollers in a way that can be understood by students. The curriculum developed by our partnership is more than just a unique, logically structured, hands-on guide for high school students, it is a learning tool that can help them acquire an engineering mindset and a passion for the profession before, during and after university. Because of the completeness of the curriculum, it provides knowledge that can be used on its own, leaving room for individual self-development and experimentation. The innovative features of the curriculum are its practical orientation and the use of digital tools and the mobile application. The mobile application is primarily designed to facilitate the systematic accessibility of the curriculum, but it goes beyond the reading of the text. The application allows the display and viewing of schematics, wiring diagrams, data sheets of the components used and explanatory videos of the example layouts. It is designed to bring the learning material to as many students as possible and to increase the possibility of continuous access.
During the project, the curriculum will be tested by high school students in thematic workshops under the professional supervision of the partner institutions.The Hungarian version of the curriculum and the accompanying mobile app will be completed in 16 months, tested by students and improved by tutors. The English version will be completed in a second phase of 14 months. The full curriculum will be available for free download on the project website, which will be maintained by the partnership after the implementation period.
Without a doubt, the primary result is the innovative Crystal Clear Electronics 2 curriculum and the accompanying mobile app. Other achievements include 8 complex multiplication events (consultation and information days, exhibitions), numerous dissemination materials, a website, Facebook page posts, 2 summer educational events, which allow participants and interested parties to get to know each other's culture and teaching methods, in addition to the curriculum. An important but less quantifiable result is the increase in knowledge, skills and motivation of the students and interested parties who participate in the project, both formally and informally. During the project and after its completion, the curriculum will be available free of charge to the entire EU population in Hungarian and English, so that it can be freely consulted by any educational institution or individual, used for non-profit educational purposes without modification. Thanks to the modern approach of the curriculum, readers will have the opportunity to learn about the main communication protocols and peripherals using one of the most common microcontroller families in the industry today. This will allow them to develop a layered perspective on programming embedded devices.
Thanks to its practicality, Crystal Clear Electronics 2 can help students make informed career choices, hopefully leading to more students choosing a career in electronics or programming and reducing the number of students who drop out of their chosen course during their further studies.
We also run Facebook pages related to the curriculum, where we post the latest news about the curriculum.
- Hungarian site: Kristálytiszta Elektronika Facebook
- English site: Crystal Clear Electronics Facebook
The European Commission's support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.