Chau Nguyen and André Dessources, two recent graduates of the Vanier College Computerized Systems Technology (CST) program didn’t wait until they had graduated to make their mark: while still studying for their Diploma of College Studies (DCS/DEC) they started working on prototypes for products that are now being mass produced for educational markets nationwide through Abra Electronics, an electronic component distributor based in St. Laurent.
“As a Department, we are extremely proud to see Chau and André start their professional journeys,” says John Salik, one of their CST teachers. “I cannot express how delighted I am as to their progress in these endeavors. I was there with them when they were making sketches on paper, and now those ideas have translated into metal, plastic and fiberglass. This demonstrates the technical maturity we want to enforce in CST as the program evolves into its newer form in the upcoming years.”
While in their third year of CST, André and Chau both did their program internship at Abra Electronics. It was at that time that Chau created the Cell Phone Charger (CPC) Kit.The result is an educational kit through which students can learn electronics by building a portable cell phone charger for all generations of iPhone, Android and even Kindle.
The Abra Electronics website describes assembling the kit as a project that is very simple, yet effective enough to create a device that will charge a phone enabling it to function more than 3 hours for each nine volt battery used.
Following on the success of the CPC Kit, André set about designing two other fun educational kits aimed at introducing students to electronics. The Color Mood Kit uses a 10mm RGB LED to produce a multicolored effect in the presence of nearby people. Three photocells control the Red, Green, and Blue intensity when a hand is held over the LED. The Theremin Player Kit produces entertaining squawk box sound effects and is loved by students and teachers. Sounds change depending on the closeness of hands or fingers to the photocell sensor. All three kits are suitable for beginners, even if they have never soldered before.
“The CST Department hopes to repeat this kind of success with future students through close industrial alliances,” says John Salik. “With newly renovated high-tech laboratories consisting of the most modern and sophisticated test equipment available students are engaging in increasingly complex designs using a state-of-the-art robotic PCB prototyping system.”