2020-2021 ICS4U Independent Study Projects (ISPs)

Independent Study Projects. Please read our overview on why ACES pursue Independent Study Projects so vigorously.

To my mind, the characteristics of a great project include such aspects as imagination, creativity, a degree of risk and, sometimes, even simplicity, to name a few. Check out the flashlight circuit 'board' this guy made out of little more that a piece of paper and a pencil? Simple, but inspiring. Consider a problem that needs a solution. Boyan Slat did at age 17 when he was in high school; four years later he is cleaning up the world's oceans. (Update: January 9, 2019) So, dig in, think, dream, research, and explore possible project pursuits. Be discerning: don't accept the first thing that comes along. You'll be expected to maintain the progress of your ISP on your web page to enable everyone to follow your efforts so have your phone handy to at all times to capture the images of your journey. Be conscious of the fact that a multi-page summary of your project will appear in your ER after Presentation Day for more permanent record of your efforts. You may wish to take into account the ISP Evaluation document that will be applied on your Presentation Day.

Also, don't underestimate the value of an enterprise/entrepreneurial aspect to your project that could see a number of units of your project in the hands of future ACES, for sale in the Dragon's Lair or beyond, reaching an even a broader audience.

Short ISP Selection

Proposal Form: Short ISP Proposal with Design

RSGC ACES (CHUMP):
74LS181 ALU Explorer
RSGC ACES (CHUMP):
AT28C16 EEPROM Burner
RSGC ACES:
MSGEQ7 Software Library
RSGC ACES:
SMT Tester
3D Design and Printing
PRUSA MULTI-COLOR
3D Design and Printing
ENCASEMENT
ARM Cortex-M7 @ 600 MHz:
Teensy 4.0
SMART TWEEZERS

Soldering
SMD REFLOW OVEN
Soldering
SMD HOT AIR
Mechanical
NICHROME HEATING
EL WIRE/PANEL
>

RTC+MSGEQ7
DES Day/Equalizer
JLCPCBs SMT
SMT Assembled PCBs
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Medium ISP (CAD & SMD)

As you wind up the final six months of your secondary education it is time to both advance and lock in your burgeoning engineering skills. Whereas through-hole technology (THT) has had a good run over the past few decades, the future is (almost ALL) Surface Mount Technology and Design. For this reason, you best be prepared. This ISP round you are stronggly encouraged to hone and showcase your SMT/D skills in preparation for the opportunities that await you in the next few years.

Your Medium ISP goal (20% of your final mark) should include the slimmest of useful devices consisting of a custom PCB, populated with SMT parts, and encased in the thinnest CAD case possible (think wallet-size proportions). You have TWO months. Our Aoyue Hot Air soldering stations, A. Hodgson's Reflow Oven, our suite of 3D printers, and either JLCPCB or DirtyPCBs are all about to get a serious Sr. ACES workout.

Download and review the updated Medium ISP Proposal. This Word version I would ask that you edit, attach, and email to handin by START of class on Friday January 10, 2020 under the Subject Line: Medium ISP Proposal.

 

 

Long ISP (THT and/or SMT, Fixed or Flex)

Electronic control over your final ACES ISP must be in the form of custom PCB populated with either through hole and/or surface mount components. In the case of the latter, you can consider taking your design to the next level, in the form of a Flex circuit that will be laminated into a page of your DER. If your circuit proves fully functional a flexible 3.5V, 150 mA Powerfilm solar cell will be included in the lamination so that that viewers of your creativity will marvel at when shown the light of day!

The Flex Circuit concept was first introduced into the ACES curriculum in the 2015/2016 TEI4M year with some impressive results. Where the attempts since have failed is whren the designer becomes too ambitious. If you choose this route, I require that you keep it SIMPLE. (LEDs and resistors only?) Your Medium ISP requirements provided you with valuable experience that should improve your likelihood of success as will be a small project this term that requires the use of the ACES ATtiny85 SMD Trainer. The examples below are too ambitious for us but each offers a unique feature you may wish to consider,

Download and review the updated Long ISP Proposal. This Word version I would ask that you edit, attach, and email to handin by START of class on Thursday March 26, 2020 under the Subject Line: Long ISP Proposal.

ACE Short ISP (10%)
(September 10 - 5 weeks)
Medium ISP (20%)
January - March (6 weeks)
Legacy Shield
April
Long ISP (30%)
March - May (7 weeks)
Atkinson, S.
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Bizzarri, P.
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Goldman, A.
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Marsland, M.
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McKenna, R.
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Robertson-Caryl, L.
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Shibley, J.
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Tessier, W.
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Vretenar, J.
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Grade Contribution to Final Mark
10
30%
11
40%
12
60%

For the bulk of your formal education you have been, and will continue to be, required to consume curriculum chosen for you by someone else. Fortunately (hopefully) you will put this knowledge and skill to good use in your future. However, jumping through someone else's hoops alone does not, typically, secure future success. For that, you must demonstrate your own initiative, motivation, and passion. These qualities need to be cultivated and our Grade 10 hardware course is a perfect place to start. There is so much to learn and there are so many great projects out there that offer stimulating contexts within which to develop and refine your interests.