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Digital Electronics (PLTW)

Course Description

From smartphones to appliances, digital circuits are all around us. This course provides a foundation for students who are interested in electrical engineering, electronics, or circuit design. Students study topics such as combinational and sequential logic and are exposed to circuit design tools used in industry, including logic gates, integrated circuits, and programmable logic devices.

Grade Level(s): 10th-12th Grades

Digital Electronics is a Project Lead the Way course taught by Kirkwood teachers with PLTW curriculum and resources.  Curriculum for each subject area is aligned with Next Generation Science Standards, which align closely with Missouri Learning Standards for Science.  The PLTW Digital Electronics Course Outline can be viewed HERE.

Course-Level Scope & Sequence (Units &/or Skills)

Unit 1: Foundations in Electronics

In Unit 1 Foundations in Electronics, students will explore the fundamental components, concepts, equipment, and skill sets associated with circuit design. They will learn an engineering design process that can be used to guide the creation of circuits based on a set of design requirements. Throughout the course, students will learn about advancements in circuits and circuit design that have shaped the world of digital electronics.

Unit 2: Combinational Logic

How do you design a circuit to “do what you want it to do”? The goal of Unit 2 is for students to gain an in-depth understanding of combinational logic circuit design. Students explore the creation of circuits with discrete components and how to simplify these circuits to implement more efficient designs.

Unit 3: Sequential Logic

How do you get a circuit to do what you want it to do, when you want it to do it? Sequential logic introduces students to event detection and memory. Sequential logic has two characteristics that distinguish it from combinational logic. First, sequential logic must have a signal that controls the sequencing of events. Second, sequential logic must have the ability to remember past events.

Unit 4: Controlling Real-World Systems

In Unit 4, students make a final transition to the use of single-board computers used widely today. State machines and computers allow students to integrate sensors and motors. This allows us to create circuits that exist in the world around us.