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03.06 Research Project Component

Assignment Deliverables

Upload a PDF .pdf, or Word .docx, or Powerpoint .pptx (if you your Google Docs or Slides download first)

  • Written summary of your research of one unknown component of your project. In descriptions of examples you found, articles you read, videos watched, photos of the projects, sketches you made and any other information gathered.
  • Include images, sketches, screenshots as needed
  • List all sources used, urls, books, videos
  • List of equipment used in the examples
  • List of questions you have about the techniques and remaining unknowns

Rule #1 of Researching New Things

Ask questions early and often.

Ask real people. Ask online in forums. Send emails. Ask your questions early, then continue your research. Don’t wait for answers to continue your research. You can research on your own while waiting for questions you asked earlier.That way an answer may come back while your are researching.

Assignment Overview

When starting a large multi month project, it can be overwhelming to think about every step all at once. There will usually be many if not all parts of a project concept that you do not know how to complete at the beginning. This Arduino Forum Postexternal link has a good guide about how to start thinking about a new electronics project.

Making a list of the different parts and components of a project is helpful. By breaking up the big project into small pieces and then assessing which order the pieces go can help make a plan. In the beginning you still may not know all of the needed pieces but you will be able to guess some of them. That is enough to start.

The next step is to choose small parts of the project and research how to accomplish the task or technique or material. Start searching, reading, watching, listening, asking questions as much as possible from as many sources and people as possible. You will likely have even more questions as you gather information.

Collect all the gathered information in an organized way. Take notes in a notebook. Label your notes with where you found the information. Save digital images in a folder. Create a digital document into which you paste text, images, links, videos and your own thoughts.

Once you have a pile of information you can begin to analyze and synthesize it. Some gathered information will turn out to be irrelevant while other information will be the key to completing the project. At the beginning you will not know which is which.

As you read and organize your information over time you will gain insight into your project problem. Sometimes you will form a complete answer and will be able to move on to the next part of the project. Sometimes you will only begin to realize the complexity of a task and then be able to formulate the right questions to find the answer.

Keep taking little bites out of the unknowns and before you realize it you will know much more.