Loughborough University
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PICs, CAD & creativity

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posted on 2008-05-02, 11:30 authored by Torben Steeg, John Martin
This action research project grew out of a concern that electronics in schools does not generally foster creativity. Earlier work by the authors has suggested that incorporating microcontrollers (‘PICs’) – small, low cost, programmable integrated circuits – in electronic products developed by pupils in design and technology could increase opportunities for pupils to make creative design decisions, because they enable pupils to make more decisions about the ways in which their design will act and respond. Three schools have carried out a radical reappraisal of one unit of work, developing new units that foster greater opportunities for (and recognition of) pupil creativity by incorporating modern technology. The research question that all three schools sought to address was: Does the use of programmable microcontrollers (‘PIC technology’) and computer aided design (CAD) enable teachers to arrange electronics project work so that pupils are better able to make creative design decisions, as compared to pupils’ design decisions in previous electronics projects? The preliminary analysis of the data presented here indicates that programmable technologies can help enhance the degree to which pupils make design decisions, but that other factors in the approach taken to reaching that decision are also important.



  • Design

Research Unit

  • D&T Association Conference Series


STEEG, T. and MARTIN, J., 2007. PICs, CAD & creativity. IN: Norman, E.W.L. and Spendlove, D. (eds.). The Design and Technology Association International Research Conference 2007, University of Wolverhampton, Telford Campus, 4,5,6 July. Wellesbourne : The Design and Technology Association, pp. 85-90.



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