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nScope: Teaching Electronics

By Danielle Roof

Hackerbot

Northwestern University takes a page out of the electronics hobbyist's playbook

According to a recent Jameco survey, only 34% of electronics hobbyists learned about electronics within a formal University setting. Instead of lecture halls, most hobbyists took a more "hands on" approach that started at the workbench. Now, at least one major University is looking for ways to shift how they teach to put a larger emphasis on experimentation.

Mechatronic lecturer Nick Marchuk and mechanical engineering graduate researcher David Meyer are passionate teachers of electronics and circuitry at Northwestern University. They recognized that it is difficult to create that same passion in a lecture hall, so they started working on a departure from the traditional class structure of three lectures a week and a separate weekly lab with a different instructor. David and Nick wanted to "flip the model of the classroom" and integrate practical, hands-on learning in every step of the process.

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