Introduction and need for school electronics

Every semester I get to teach students from various fields and either they join the join the electronics course out of curiosity(rarely) or the academic program makes it mandatory to take up the course on basic electronics. Most of the instructors or teachers who teach basic electronics get lot of questions in the first class itself.

The most common question that is thrown out in the first class is

"I am a mechanical engg student, Why is it that I should study electronics ?
Why is it made mandatory ? "

The above question is just one instance, Its not mechanical engg always I do get the same question from students from different background

Today, Our life is so much dependent of electronics that my friend's son says "I can live without food for a day but not without my cellphone". The universities conducting the courses does not want to burden students but it has become a necessary to create an awareness among the students how the electronics in the world works.

Another students continues the question."But why, I know how to use a cell phone and I am not interested in knowing how it works "

Let me give you an instance where this knowledge on basic electronics would have saved the day.

Here Fred, a student who is educated but an electronics illiterate visits a store to buy a new cell phone.

Fred: I need a new cell phone with a good camera and long battery life without frequent charging.

Salesman: Sure sir, Regarding the battery life what is the number of standby hours(no. of hours the phone will be switched ON but not used) and talktime hours(hours that you can continuously speak without plugging in for a charge) you need ?

"Salesman uses this question to test if he can fool you. I agree not all salesman try to cheat there are genuine ones as well this is just an instance".

Fred: I have this old phone of mine which beeps 'low battery' every 4 hours so I need a good phone which will not have this problem.

Salesman: I have the right cell phone for you which has just arrived, built on latest technology and you can use it for a week without plugging it for a charge.

He shows the standby hours printed on the box that says 400 hours.

Fred: Wow !! Fantastic I will buy one.

The salesmen makes a good profit and fred fails to see the banner in the store "goods once sold will not be taken back". If Fred had some basic knowledge of electronics he would have definitely wondered
'How is it possible for a battery that small run for weeks and without charging ?'

I would not say that all the students should be an expert in electronics but some basics will definitely come in handy because the world is filled with electronics all around. At schoolelectronics we will try our best to express the points assuming you know nothing of electronics.

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