The official website of Physics 308-L

Final Project Description and Outline

I’ll be writing a series of posts that detail the final project, what is expected, some ideas to get your creative juices flowing, and some overall tips, and maybe more. This post will be to give you a more concrete idea of what is expected of you for the final three weeks of the lab.

The final project which we will call the “Instructables Project” is going to be to incorporate everything you’ve learned in lab all semester and a couple useful new skills that will be needed later in life. On top of that we will get to play with Arduino!

The overall project will be to create something with arduino that will be useful to you or is just plain cool. Steve and I want you to be completely free to do what you want and you can be as achieving as you want (under or over), just make sure that you can get it done in the time frame allotted (3 weeks for lab and you can use finals week for bonus time).

Along the way you will be required to notebook your entire process. For this I’m not saying to publish just some methods, or some pictures. I want everything. If you have some weird random thought about your project, put it in your notebook. If you decide to change your project, notebook it. If you read an article about something useful to you, notebook it. This will be the most idealistic version of open notebook science that there is. We want a complete record of the project from brainstorming all the way through the creation, testing, and publication.

In addition to the notebook, since we are using arduino you will be required to test your device and acquire some data. This data must be published to FigShare. Why? Because if people want to check out your instructable they should see how reliable it is and doing some light characterization never hurt anyone.

We will also be incorporating BenchFly into this. You get to make a video of some aspect of your project. I would prefer that you record your setup, but you could also do a video of it working where you describe how it works and why you designed this video. The videos will go (hopefully) on your Instructable page, but worse case scenario is you put it in your notebook and link to it from Instructables.

Finally you will be required to make an Instructable tutorial. This will be a how-to publication of your build so it should be more readable than your notebook, but also contain less information there as well.

Most of this project you can do from home. We’ll let you take the arduino’s with you to borrow. The lab will be for you to ask questions, get some personalized attention, see your friends, chat, and to also use the equipment we have in the lab, ie oscilloscopes, volt meters, etc.

What about time frame?

Well like I said before you have 3 weeks plus finals week if you want. I would recommend not procrastinating on this project. Deadlines for the project is as follows:

I’m leaving Week 2 open in terms of deadline because I don’t want to say you have to have any component of your project done by then. But by the end of Week 3 you should have most of your project completed. Week 3 isn’t a hard deadline either, because you have finals week to get some more work done. Week 1 is a hard deadline however. You have to have your project plan completed by that Friday so Steve and I can give you some ideas about how best to proceed. Of course the earlier you get this done, in case you need to make changes to your project.

Good luck with your projects and we can’t wait to see what you come up with!

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