Smart Circuits

Dates: July 14th-25th

Cost: $1,200

The future is in electronics! Many innovations, from the latest mobile phones to fully-electric cars to art installations, rely on electronic circuits and microcontollers to function properly. But how can it be that a tiny piece of silicon in your camera can store thousands of pictures? How do the electrons even know where to go in a circuit? Smart Circuits will be about understanding the magic of electricity, making circuits that react intelligently (or unintelligently if that's how you design it!), and discovering a new way to learn how things work. 

We will be building things with programmable microcontrollers, hacking circuits, creating art with colorful LED lights, learning binary code, using sensors to make circuits interactive, and discovering new uses for the electron. Above all, creativity and newly-gained knowledge of electronics will enable students to create anything they want, such as a toolkit of electronic components, and will encourage understanding of new concepts, such as microcomputer programming and the art and science of electricity. Electronics is a fascinating field: nearly every object in our lives has been made smarter by a microcomputer or other electronic circuit.

No experience is needed to participate in this module - just an interest in learning about electronics!


Trevor Shannon

Trevor graduated from MIT with a degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2011. He’s a builder, maker, and project-doer who currently works with Google [x].  Trevor also enjoys doing electronics projects like custom super-bright bike lights and taking cool pictures. A long time ASRA instructor, Trevor started out teaching Extreme Photography before starting an electronics module called Smart Circuits.  He’s excited to explore the combination of soft, flexible materials and electronic circuits to build really cool stuff.

Here is a link to Trevor's website where you can see some of his projects:

Check out his time-lapse video here:  Timelapse

Baxter Bond

Baxter comes from Tununak, a village with a population of about 350 people and is located on the coast of Southwest Alaska.  He graduated from Mt. Edgecumbe High School and has been a part of ASRA since 2008. He has participated in several ASRA modules, including Extreme Photography, Robotics, and Earth and Space Science. He was an intern for the Smart Circuits module in 2012, and this will be his second year as the assistant instructor for this module. Currently, Baxter is pursuing two degrees at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a Bachelor of Arts in Yup'ik. "Bax" has plenty of interests, including computer programming, hunting, fishing, basketball, and photography.  He is always eager to learn and teach!

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