HIGHER COURSE OUTLINE
In line with the systems approach, and applying this methodology to the learning process, the depth of treatment of topics introduced at Standard Grade is developed further. In electronics, the level of understanding is developed from a sub systems base to a study at component base level. Structures, materials, and programmable systems are treated in a more rigorous and formal manner.
The course aims:
- To develop an appreciation of selected key issues in technology, the contexts in which these may be viewed and the constraints within which solutions or designs must be achieved.
- To instill a knowledge of physical principles and of commercial methodologies and to apply them to solving problems or meeting specifications.
- To develop each student’s communication and presentation skills.
- To inculcate a receptive attitude towards technological progress and its demands.
- To foster the ability to seek out, research and apply technological information.
- To foster technologically sensitive attitudes.
The course consists of four units.
Students are required to develop an understanding of the function and operation of electronic devices and apply quantitative analysis to verify the operation of electronic systems. The main topics of study are transistors, operational amplifiers and combinational logic. Students are also required to develop practical skills in constructing electronic systems.
SYSTEMS AND CONTROL
A quantitative performance analysis of open and closed loop control systems is undertaken. Applications of programmable control systems are investigated and students are required to develop software programs to control the operation of mechatronic systems. Data logging is used as a means of monitoring the operation of a system.
STRUCTURES AND MATERIALS
Students establish an understanding of the concept of equilibrium and its application to concurrent and non-concurrent force systems. Some knowledge of tensile testing is also introduced. The effects of both internal and external forces acting on a body are considered. The use of strain gauges is introduced. Calculations and the use of graphical data are applied to establish a specification for a structural component.
Students are required to critically analyse the development of an existing solution to a given problem set in an industrial context and produce a 1500 word report.
Homework is an integral part of the course. The frequency and amount of homework will vary throughout the year depending on the topics being covered in class. Towards the end of a topic, students will attempt written questions at home as revision/reinforcement prior to sitting a NAB test in class. In particular, the case study report will be largely researched and produced outwith normal class time using the internet at home or in school
Each course unit has a number of National Assessment Bank (NAB) tests. The student will sit these under exam conditions during normal class time throughout the year. The student must achieve a minimum cut off score to pass these NAB tests.
External assessment (3 hour exam) provides the only basis for grading attainment in the course award.
This course allows students to gain technological capability and confidence. It leads onto Advanced Higher Technological Studies and is extremely well suited to anyone interested in a profession in any of the technology or engineering disciplines.