MIPT Olympiad in Electronics for Schoolchildren

Published on January 24, 2017

MIPT Olympiad in Electronics for Schoolchildren

    This year, for the first time, the MIPT Electronics Olympiad will be held for students in grades 5-11! What awaits the participants? Challenges, practical work on assembling schemes, prizes and recommendations for applicants!

    Tasks for an example: to find the general resistance of a circuit section, to build a truth table for a circuit.

    You can find all the details about the Olympiad on the Abitu.Net social network for applicants at: http://abitu.net/event/1970 The

    Olympiad consists of two stages:

    • Online Stage : December 16 - March 1, 2017.
    • Intramural phase : end of March 2017

    There are two age categories in the Olympiad. We will consider them in more detail, since the tasks are fundamentally different.

    5-8 grade

    The online tour lasts 3 hours and contains simple and fun tasks on electronics. All tasks have a practical focus: they need to predict the behavior of the device, find errors in the circuit, select the appropriate element and supplement the circuit.

    Since there is no such subject as “Electronics” in the school curriculum, and these topics are studied in the textbook for grade 8, this age category contains motivating tasks. Of course, the student will answer the tasks better if, for example, he goes to the electronics club or studies at home on his own. But even if he is completely new, we indicated the topics that you need to know, and also analyzed demo tasks, so it’s not so difficult to prepare and study the material yourself. On topics and literature will be further, in more detail.

    The goal is to interest and captivate schoolchildren with electronics, as well as to enable electronics clubs to compete in the level of knowledge of their students.

    Here, for example, the analysis of one of the demo tasks. Here I talk about how to build a truth table for a circuit of several logical gates OR NOT. As you can see, this is not even so much electronics as computer science:

    Grades 9-11

    And in this age group everything is already serious: complex tasks based on materials from the school curriculum. They cover various topics from school physics, but the emphasis is on electronics. The goal here is to identify the most savvy, so that in the future we will work with them as students of the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. The online tour lasts 4 hours.

    Here's an example for you - parsing the first demo task. Not every adult specialist will decide it, will it? Only the most hardcore tasks from the Department of General Physics, MIPT!

    Immediately the answer to the common question: how many points does the Olympiad give to the exam? The answer is this: at the moment - not at all, because this year the Olympics are held for the first time. Therefore, so far the prize is this: points in the cadastre of applicants and recommendations from the organizers for admission to the PhysTech School of Radio Engineering and Computer Technology (FRKT), as well as developing gifts and passing to the final stage next year, when the Olympics may become level

    Our goal is make the olympiad level so that it gives 100 points for the exam in physics. But for this, the Olympiad should start successfully this year and pass on key characteristics, such as the number of participants.

    Olympiad specifics

    What is the difference between our Olympiad and many others?

    Firstly, the intramural stage will be carried out with the design of circuits on a breadboard! We believe that electronics is impossible without practice, and collecting circuits is something new at the Olympics.

    In the analysis of demo tasks, we not only explain how to solve them, but also show the solution “live” - from electronic components.

    Secondly, we tried to make the tasks from the “motivating part” similar to the British electronics exam GCSE Electronics. British students can choose it as one of the optional when receiving a certificate of general secondary education. From the materials of the test we can conclude that the exam is quite complicated, while the tasks in it are very interesting, and do not at all resemble the exam. Our opinion is that Russian schoolchildren should be drawn to this bar and not inferior to their British peers.

    The source of the picture is a video to prepare for the British electronics exam

    . Thirdly, the motivating part of the Olympiad is very important for us. We really want students to have a chance at the Olympics to get acquainted with electronics and become interested in it at the earliest possible age: not even in grades 8-11 (when everyone is already thinking about the USE and admission), but in grades 5-6. The experience of school technical circles shows us that already at this age, young talent is able to understand the basics of electronics and digital logic.

    More and more circles of electronics appear - in the wake of interest in hobby-robotics, there comes the realization that robotics is impossible without electronics. For the circles, our Olympiad is a chance to check the level of our students, a chance to prove to parents that children are not wasting. If you have any familiar leaders in electronics or robotics circles - send them our article, we will be very grateful!

    Photos from the lessons of the electronics group in the "League of Robots". Where to put their talents to the students of the circles? There are many competitions in hobby-robotics, but there are only a few in electronics ...

    Topics and References

    To prepare for the Olympics, we have prepared and offer you a rough list of topics. In full, it can be viewed on the site, but if briefly:

    • For students in grades 5-8, these are electrical circuits (Ohm's law, parallel and serial connections), radio components (resistors, LEDs, capacitors, transistors, and others), digital microcircuits (counters, triggers, multiplexers, decoders), computer science basics (binary numbering logic gates)
    • For 9-graders and older students, this is a school program in physics: electronics, electrical engineering, thermodynamics, mechanics and other topics. The task can fall from any section, because the Olympiad checks the knowledge of the participant, including the entire volume of the school program in physics.

    We also made a worthy list of literature for preparing for the Olympics: not only textbooks here, but also popular literature that can interest and captivate. Here is the literature for grades 5-8, and for older ones, the corresponding physics textbooks for grades 9-11 are also added to the list.

    1. Peryshkin A.V. Physics. 8th grade. Textbook.
    2. Petzold C. Code. Secret language of computer science.
    3. Platt C. Electronics for Beginners.
    4. Revich Yu.V. The alphabet of electronics.
    5. Revich Yu.V. Entertaining electronics.  
    6. Svoren R.A. Electronics. Step by step.  
    7. Harris D., Harris S. Digital circuitry and computer architecture

    The last position from the list should be familiar to the Khabrovsk residents thanks to the posts of YuriPanchul . This is a textbook for universities, but it is written in a clear language, there are simple chapters on the basics of digital electronics.

    Nevertheless, we did not begin to include the “Art of Circuit Engineering" by Horowitz and Hill in the list of literature, although we know that there are talented youth who can do it!

    Lyrical digression

    I want to share my story about the importance of the Olympiads in the career guidance of students.

    I was 13 years old when I became interested in linguistics. How? After all, the school does not have such a subject. The answer is simple: linguistics was among the disciplines of the Olympics "Lomonosov Tournament", there were interesting puzzles for logical thinking and linguistic intuition. I liked them so much that I discussed the problems with other competitors with interest, began to read books on linguistics and wanted to enter a university in the corresponding faculty. As a result, my life was different, and I received the education of a programmer, but you must admit - linguistics and exact sciences are very closely connected. Before that Olympics, I had no idea what I wanted to do: some subjects liked more than others, but there was no desire to deal with them professionally.

    I would like that as a result of our Olympiad, the children’s eyes would light up, and that these guys would say: “Now I know what I want! I want to become an engineer and develop electronic devices! ”This is the purpose of including in the Olympiad a subject not from the school curriculum: to broaden their horizons and give students an idea of ​​a new discipline for them.

    The author is Tatyana Volkova , specialist in educational and methodical work of the Center for Technology and Technology at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (the direction of support for the development of technical creativity), the developer of Cyberphysics