NCEA L2 Electronics

Course Description

Teacher in Charge: Dr M. Harvey

Recommended Prior Learning

This is an open entry course. An interest in electronics and a steady hand would be useful.

Electronics 200

They holds your money. They monitor your heartbeat when you are running. They carry the your image and your voice into other people's homes. They allow planes to land. It's amazing to think just how many things "they" actually do. The "They" are electrons: miniscule particles that orbit atoms that move around defined paths known as circuits carrying potential electrical energy, which you also know as voltage. One of the greatest things people learned to do in the last century was to use these electrons to do useful things. The electronics revolution, as this is known, accelerated the computer revolution that allows you to play games on your mobile phone and have transformed our lives on Earth. But how exactly do incredibly small particles, far too small for you to see, achieve things that are so big and dramatic? 

If you've ever looked down on a city from a skyscraper window, you'll have marveled at all the tiny little buildings beneath you and the streets linking them together in all sorts of intricate ways. Every building has a function and the streets, which allow people to travel from one part of a city to another or visit different buildings in turn, make all the buildings work together. The collection of buildings, the way they're arranged, and the many connections between them is what makes a vibrant city so much more than the sum of its individual parts.

The circuits inside pieces of electronic equipment are a bit like cities too: they're packed with components (similar to buildings) that do different jobs and the components are linked together by cables or printed metal connections (similar to streets). Unlike in a city, where virtually every building is unique and even two supposedly identical homes or office blocks may be subtly different, electronic circuits are built up from a small number of standard components. But, just like LEGO®, you can put these components together in an infinite number of different places so they do an infinite number of different jobs.

 The key to an electronic device is not just the components it contains, but the way they are arranged in circuits. The simplest possible circuit is a continuous loop connecting two components, like two beads fastened on the same necklace. Analog electronic appliances tend to have far simpler circuits than digital ones. A basic transistor radio might have a few dozen different components and a circuit board probably no bigger than the cover of a paperback book. But in something like a computer, which uses digital technology, circuits are much more dense and complex and include hundreds, thousands, or even millions of separate pathways. Generally speaking, the more complex the circuit, the more intricate the operations it can perform. 

This course is for students who wish to develop their practical skills, their ability to engage theory with practice, laboratory skills and their understanding of the electron and how the electron can be used to create solutions using circuits designed from electronic components.

Topics you will learn about include:

Basics of electricity

Electrical components

Circuit construction

By the end of the course you will know about the principles of

Mains and static electricity, electrical components and circuit construction and design .

Course Overview

Term 1
Circuit Concepts and Measurement
Basic Electronic Components

Term 2
Make a Simple Printed Circuit Board
Basic Electronic Systems

Term 3
Construct a Prototype Circuit from a Schematic

Learning Areas:

NCEA Level 2, Science - Pūtaiao