# Maths Project Ideas for Students: Pocket Calculator Design

• Engineering
• Huma waseem
In summary, a math teacher is seeking guidance for project ideas for students who struggle with project work. He has started with survey analysis and data summarization using basic statistics and IQ tests, but is now looking for practical projects like designing a pocket calculator. However, he is having trouble finding resources for designing a calculator and is wondering if it would be better to focus on building data loggers using Picaxe chips. Another suggestion is to explore Chua's circuit, which is a demo on chaos theory.
Huma waseem
Hello !
i am Maths teacher in School
Regarding maths project could u people guide me what kind of projects can be made, As the students are not very good at and use to with the project work... i ve started with Survey analysation and than summerization of the data using begginer stats, IQ test etc.. but now i am looking forward to give some practical work like to design simple pocket calculator .. i searched a lot but can't find a single site where i could know the general operationed ( addition substration division and multiplication ) based circuit of calculator be designed !
I want to have your suggestion if calculator designing in limited budget or due to some other reasons can be difficult so what may be the right choice for such purpose ... ??
Regards

Last edited by a moderator:
I have seen calculators on $2 pencil cases. How could you possibly match that? At best, you might get calculator chips which already have the logic built in. Building a calculator would just be a matter of wiring up switches as a keyboard, adding a display and the students would not learn anything. Would you consider making data loggers which could be placed in some location and record data like temperature, sunlight, soil moisture etc over a day or so and then be brought back to a computer to download their data? I would think of using Picaxe chips, which are available for about$5 US (and up for better ones) in some countries.

These chips are programmable in a simple Basic language and it would be possible to incorporate some statistics into the data collection process and in the computer when the data is downloaded.

If you recorded one reading every 15 minutes, these chips have about 200 bytes of onboard memory so you could record for about 50 hours of 8 bit data or 25 hours of 16 bit data.

If you like this idea, you could read about these devices at:
www.rev-ed.co.uk/picaxe/

## 1. What is the purpose of a pocket calculator design project?

A pocket calculator design project aims to challenge students to use their knowledge of mathematics, engineering, and design principles to create a functional and efficient calculator that can fit into a pocket or small bag. This project encourages students to think critically and creatively while also developing important skills such as problem-solving, teamwork, and project management.

## 2. What are some key features to consider when designing a pocket calculator?

When designing a pocket calculator, students should consider the size and portability of the device, the types of calculations it will perform, the user interface, power source, and durability. They should also think about any additional features they want to incorporate, such as a backlight or scientific functions.

## 3. How can students incorporate mathematical concepts into their pocket calculator design?

Students can incorporate mathematical concepts into their pocket calculator design by considering the different operations and functions that the calculator will perform. They can also explore different mathematical models and equations to optimize the performance of their calculator. Additionally, students can use their knowledge of geometry and measurement to ensure accurate dimensions and proportions for the design.

## 4. What materials and tools are necessary for this project?

Materials and tools needed for a pocket calculator design project may include a computer for research and design, drafting tools or software, prototyping materials such as cardboard or foam, electronic components, and tools for soldering and circuit building. Students may also need access to a 3D printer or other manufacturing equipment for the final product.

## 5. How can this project be adapted for different grade levels?

This project can be adapted for different grade levels by adjusting the complexity of the design and calculations. For younger students, the focus can be on basic arithmetic operations and simple designs, while older students can explore more advanced mathematical concepts and incorporate more complex features into their calculator design. Additionally, younger students can work in groups with guidance from a teacher, while older students can work independently or in small teams.

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