Welcome to our SWC Electronics Website!

The projects and written materials are intended for the student,
teacher, and amateur constructor.

Well Done, Suraj!

Suraj Emmattiparambil continues to volunteer as webmaster.
His generous contributions began in 2018. Recent electronic
projects include constructing the insectronic robot and a crystal radio.
This year Suraj is focusing on expanding his skills in several programming
languages and preparing for post secondary. We wish him every success!

Student Volunteers Needed
  1. Website programming, uploading files, converting to pdf
  2. Photography


Happy New Year! — January 1, 2020

Several new projects are well underway. Neha Ajit has finalized her
printed circuit board design for a 40 MHz receiver. The board included
in the Easy Receiver kit (http://qrpkits.com/) provided a reference.
Neha will mask, etch, and populate the pcb in our electronics lab.
Roy Fang is building an RC model truck from scratch. To ensure that
all parts were compatible, Roy glued each photocopied template to
stiff file folder paper stock, cut the pieces out, and assembled them.
He has begun producing the parts from 14 gauge (1.63 mm) aluminum
sheet metal. Lance Tanaka is constructing an RC model aircraft. He
printed templates from the Flite Test website, then transferred them
to foam board. A utility knife was used to cut them out. Lance assembled
the wing with a glue gun, and installed the flap servos and electronics.
He successfully tested the wing function.

Surprise Visit — December, 2019

During the last week of classes a grade nine and ten electronics
class received a surprise visit. Mr. Mike Yang and three of his friends,
all former Churchill graduates, shared their university experiences.

Congratulations, Pranav Mruthyunjayan! — May 10, 2019

Pranav Mruthyunjayan recently received a two thousand dollar
scholarship from Apple Inc. He is invited to attend the Apple
Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC 19). It will be held
on June 3 to 7, in San Jose, California. Five thousand people are
expected to participate.

To enter the competition students design an application in the Swift
programming language. Swift is used to develop applications for Apple
products such as IOS, Mac, and Apple TV. Last year ten thousand
young people around the world submitted their Swift projects.
Only two hundred were selected. This is the second year that
Pranav has entered. His winning presentation can be viewed at


Pranav is completing grade eight at Churchill Secondary.
He is learning to program in Python. Pranav is eager to
enter both the Beaver Computing Challenge 2019 and
the Canadian Computing Competition 2020.


Congratulations, Ryan Leeson and Kevin Lu! — March 20, 2019

Kevin and Ryan are among only fourteen students who received
a perfect score (75/75) at the Junior Level in the Canadian Computing
Competition 2019. Kevin is completing grade ten at Sir Winston
Churchill Secondary. He plans to enter the Senior Level in 2020.
Ryan is a student at Eric Hamber Secondary.

This was a challenging competition. Among those in the top group
of fourteen were three from Beijing, one from Shanghai, and
another from Riga. Subtract them (14 – 5 = 9) and the Vancouver
School District took 22% of the top spots nationwide.

At Churchill our Computer Programming and Computing Science
club offers lunchtime workshops in both logic problems and Python
programming. Student coaches lead the workshops. In preparation
for the Beaver Computing Challenge 2018 (BCC), Valerie Chan and
Mars Cretu provided logic problems, guidance and encouragement.
Ivan Baklanov, Kevin Lu and Tracy Sun achieved perfect scores in
the BCC 2018.

Aiden Li and Richard Lu are the coding coaches for our Python club.
Students from grade eight to twelve participate. They are currently
exploring introductory algorithms. An important aspect of these
workshops is that they allow students to try their hand at coding
without encountering the negative experiences that may accompany
a regular credit course. Many, after participating in the workshops,
do indeed register for our programming courses.

Webmaster Builds Crystal Radio — January 21, 2019

Suraj continues to generously volunteer as webmaster.
This year in electronics Suraj, with his friend Danny, is designing and
constructing a crystal radio. Crystal radios do not require a separate
power source. They use the energy carried in the radio frequency
for power.


Former Students Visit The Electronics Lab — December 18, 2018

In December 2018, Kivanc Yildiz (Grad 2013) and Adam Watkins (Grad 2015) visited Mr. Gibbens. Kivanc is finishing an undergraduate degree in mechatronics at the University of Ottawa. From his perspective the most practical skill that he learned during his three electronics courses at Churchill was how to design a mask for a printed circuit board. He produced the mask with professional CAD software. Kivanc is a key member of the university's Formula SAE racing team. The team works together to design and build a racing car. It is powered by a Suzuki motorcycle engine. They enter their vehicle in an official Formula SAE competition. Here is a photograph of the team. Kivanc is in the front row, fifth from the left.


Adam Watkins is completing third year computer science and software
engineering at Simon Fraser University. He has mastered several coding
languages, including Python. Adam studied electronics for three years
at Churchill. He programmed in C++ with Arduino and learned Python.
Adam is currently seeking a co-op education placement. In co-op students
assume the responsibilities of a regular employee. They are paid for their
work. A successful co-op experience is a gateway to a successful career.


Recent Accomplishments

  1. Adam is currently among the top ten Canadian university students
    in the Halite III artificial intelligence competition.
    AI bots compete in a real time strategy (RTS) game.
  2. He designed and built a database driven website for students
    to buy and sell used texbooks. Adam used Python, Django and SQL
  3. Adam produced immersive and productivity apps on Android (Java)
    and iOS (Swift)
  4. He engineered a custom smart red-green-blue strip lighting.
    This project utilized a Raspberry Pi running a web-server
    connected to an Arduino. Adam drew upon the circuit analysis,
    Arduino programming, and breadboarding skills mastered
    1 in his electronics courses at Churchill.

Adam's brother—also a Churchill graduate—began a co-op placement at
the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory on southern Vancouver Island.
He is developing a machine learning program for spectroscopic analysis.
This observatory studies the light frequencies from distant stars.
The interaction of light with matter produces spectral lines that carry
the chemical signature of the star.


High School Amateur Radio Enthusiast Recommends – December 12

We were excited to receive an email from Susan (not her real name)
on December 12. Susan lives in Ontario. After learning about amateur
radio at summer camp she joined the Amateur Radio Club at her school.
Susan found the information on our own website "a great resource."
The telecommunications timeline that she recommended has been
uploaded to our site. Thank you, Susan!

Ploy Piyawassopon Lands SHAD

In early February, Ploy Piyassopon received an invitation to participate in SHAD 2018. Ploy is completing grade eleven in the International Baccalaureate program at Sir Winston Churchill Secondary.
In Electronics 11, she is converting a student built robotic arm to work with Arduino. Currently, Ploy is adapting the grippers so that they will detect tactile force with a resistive sensor. SHAD promotes STEAM, (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) in a commercially oriented month-long program at a Canadian university.
Ploy takes a special interest in the relationship between sustaining the natural environment and controlling human-induced climate change.




Matthew Nguyen and Cliff Ng Visit, February 15, 2018

During the midterm break Matthew Nguyen and Cliff Ng (Grads 2015)
took time away from their demanding studies to speak to grade nine
and ten students in electronics. Mr. Nguyen is studying bioinformatics
at Simon Fraser University and is currently working as a researcher in a
Computational Epidemiology and Biology lab. He is especially interested
in the applications of machine learning to health and medicine. Mr. Ng is
pursuing a chemistry degree at the University of British Columbia. He is
interested in bioinorganic chemistry and its applications to medicine.
They provided an engaging survey of their academic experiences.
Churchill students asked probing questions. There was a
stimulating discussion about immunization, data mining and
machine learning. For those interested in both computer science
and chemistry, computational chemistry is a possible field of study.

Ethan Xu Visits December 20, 2017

Ethan Xu is enjoying his third year studies in computer science at
Carnegie Mellon University. He is especially interested in machine
learning. Ethan is familiar with these coding languages: Mat Lab,
R (Project for Statistical Computing), Python and ROS (Robot
Operating System). They are used extensively in robot control.
An insightful article, What can machine learning do? Workforce
Implications: Profound change is coming, but roles for humans
was co-authored by Tom Mitchell (Science,
22 December 2017, 1530-1534). Professor Mitchell teaches in
the department of computer science at Carnegie Mellon.

Machine Learning and Its Social and Political Implications

Track how technology is transforming work.
Tom Mitchell & Erik Brynjolfsson. Nature. 20 April 2017, 290—292.



Churchill Volunteers Help Elementary School Students
With Lego Robotics Club, February 2018

Each Thursday after school, fifteen Churchill volunteers travel to
David Lloyd George Elementary to assist students with their robotics
club. Our grade nine to eleven volunteers use three Lego EV3
Mindstorms robot kits. They teach the pupils how to program,
and how to design and build robots. By all accounts this initiative
has met with success for both younger and older students.

The David Lloyd George robotics club is an important opportunity
for Churchill students to develop leadership skills. It leads to
growing self-confidence and a greater awareness of the importance
of community involvement. It may also lead to greater academic
success for our youth. This initiative implements the STEAM
curriculum (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics).

Volunteers include Ivan Baklanov, Valerie Chan, Edward Chen, Sandy Chu,
Hans Fajarillo, Afrinse Garcia, Declan Gunning, Michael Li, J. P. Patagan,
Teresa Ku, Jack Rao, Katie Sun, Ryan Taban, Karl Tsang, Timothy Vasilyev
Andrew Wang, and Sam Zhou.

Sukhwinder Hayer Talks To Students About His BC Hydro Apprenticeship

In November 2017, Mr. Sukhwinder Hayer spoke to electronics students about his electrical trades apprenticeship with B.C. Hydro. He has already completed three years of a five-year program. Mr. Hayer is a strong advocate for apprenticeships. There are many benefits. He earns while he learns. Each year, he attends an eight-month course at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. There are travel opportunities. Currently, Mr. Hayer works at Terrace and Prince Rupert. He completed five courses in electronics while at Sir Winston Churchill Secondary, including the Career Preparation Program in Electronics.

Victoria Lam and Celinna Lu, March 2017

During March 2017, two former electronics students visited. Victoria Lam spoke to grade ten students. She completed a degree in kinesthiology at the University of British Columbia, and assists people who are recovering from physical trauma. Victoria plans to begin a master’s program in occupational therapy at UBC this September. She took four courses in electronics at Churchill Secondary, including the career preparation program in electronics. A work experience with Grin Technologies led to part time employment assembling electronic components.

Celinna Lu visited during the spring break. In 2014, while a grade eleven IB student, Celinna constructed the Insectronic robot. She designed, masked, and etched a high quality double-sided printed circuit board for her robot. The pcb supports an Atmega328 microcontroller for the Arduino.
Celinna is applying to UBC's Mechatronics program. She is collaborating with another undergraduate in the design and construction of a 3-D printer. The printer uses stepper motors from old floppy disk and CD-ROM drives.
Celinna encourages more girls to take high school electronics.

Diana Abundu Designs and Manufactures Robotic Hand with 3D Printer

Diana is a grade twelve student. During the past summer she used an open source 3D modeling application to design a robotic hand. Every phalange was rendered as a three-dimensional image. Each piece is hollow to allow for the internal tendons that are moved by servos. The individual pieces were manufactured with a 3D printer. She will soon begin programming servos to control the fingers and thumb. An Arduino Uno supplies the programming power.
Diana began the project in her grade eleven electronics class. She created a fully articulated index finger. In November, she served a one-week placement with a nonprofit company that makes and services assistive devices for the severely physically disabled. She made a sip-and-puff switch. Diana also designed a cellphone holder, and manufactured it with a three-dimensional printer.

View Diana's amazing robotic hand in our projects section.

Python Workshops

Every Thursday at lunch in room 115 - Details in September.

Anthony Chang (Grad 2015) Speaks To Grade Ten Electronics Students

Mr. Anthony Chang visited Churchill electronics on Thursday, February 11.
He is completing a first year introductory engineering program at
the Okanagan campus of the University of British Columbia. Mr. Chang
plans to continue his studies in electrical engineering at the Vancouver
campus. He stressed the importance of the three electronics courses
which he took at Churchill. His friend, Ms. Celene Cao (Grad 2015) is
taking first year psychology at the main UBC campus. They shared their
experiences. With fifty thousand students enrolled, and classes of several
hundred, both agreed that the smaller Okanagan campus, or nearby
Langara College were more supportive learning environments. The grade
nine and ten students asked our guests many insightful questions.
We hope that Mr. Chang and Ms. Cao will return with an update.

Mike Yang Visits From the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign

On Tuesday, January 2nd, 2016, Mr. Mike Yang spoke to two senior
electronics classes. He shared his experiences as a second year
electrical engineering student. Mr. Yang is working closely with
computer science, structural engineering, and electrical engineering
students to design and build a mining robot. The robot will be entered
in a NASA competition at the Kennedy Space Centre this May.
Mr. Yang found the skills and knowledge that he gained in the Churchill
electronics program very useful in his studies, and his participation
in the Mars mining robot venture. We wish the team every success.

Digging the Dirt - Unique Robots Compete in Mining Competition
IRIS Takes Systems Engineering Approach in Lunabotics Competition

Electronics and Robotics
Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School
Vancouver, B.C.  Canada

January 6, 2019

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