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Learning the nuts and bolts of smart homes

07 Mar 2019

Learning the nuts and bolts of smart homes

Students carrying out hands-on work during a Smart Electrical Technology lesson at Beatty Secondary School.

Smart Electrical Technology offers secondary students a glimpse of the nuts and bolts of home automation systems.

Ever wonder what goes into the making of a smart home and how Google Home can respond to your questions?

Students learn the answers to these and more in the Smart Electrical Technology subject, which is one of three MOE-ITE Applied Subjects offered in secondary school.

The lessons are more comprehensive than typical science classes, and students get plenty of hands-on experience. Apart from learning basic hardware assembling, they also get to dabble with the technologies involved in designing and creating a home automation system.

When students become familiar with the concepts and technical knowledge, they also get to plan their automated systems, albeit on a smaller scale.

With these hands-on experiences, students will have a better understanding of how electrical circuits and home automation technology work. These experiences also provide students a glimpse of what it takes to work in the smart electrical technology industry, and it will come in handy when they consider their post-secondary education options.

“The subject is developed and assessed by the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) and are also aligned with industry needs,” explains Mr Lim Soon Wai, vice principal of Beatty Secondary School, which is among the 10 schools offering the subject.

“Students who take up Smart Electrical Technology subject will learn relevant basic industry skills that will prepare them for related engineering courses in the ITE. This will also help them make informed decisions on whether to pursue related courses in ITE.”

However, this does not mean that students must be interested in related industry sectors in order to take up the subject. Even if students do not intend to pursue engineering after secondary school, they will still take away knowledge that is relevant to their daily lives.

“The subject has strong emphasis on practical lessons, and they are connected to real-life contexts and situations,” says Mr Lim. “An example of a practical task - students will learn to programme a sequence that can switch on and dim lights over a specific duration. This technology is also applicable to lighting in malls and homes.”