I am Nykia, a rising sophomore at Promise Academy I High School. I was selected to participate in this program by the administration of my school if I accepted. I decided to go to this program because it would be like a stepping stone to a  possible future career in engineering. This program would help me in deciding if I want to be an engineer when I get older. I was very grateful that I had the opportunity to participate in a program as selective as this one. For my two projects I chose the Minty Boost Portable Charger as my starter and the Prank Altoids Tin Can as my final.


This 6 week program was new to me and nothing like I had imagined. It was a good start for me because I didn’t have any background knowledge about engineering. Since I didn’t really know anything about engineering I had to stick to basic projects and I have got a hang of how engineering design is.

Final Project

For my final project I chose the Prank Altoid Tinthat runs on a 9 volt battery. When you open the tin it growls. My project had two parts. The first part I did was assembling my project onto a breadboard to see if I put all the components in the correct places. The second part was putting together all the components in an altoid tin. My parts consisted of resistors, capacitors, a 555 IC, a speaker, a micro switch, and a battery clip. Once I properly assembled my breadboard I began transferring my parts onto a printed circuit board(PCB). When I did that, I used the wrong resistors so I had to start over. After that I started fresh on another breadboard and came to the conclusion that my 555 chip was burnt. After I figured the fault, I completed the project successfully by putting together the circuit on a Printed Circuit Board and I added an LED as a modification to it.


Milestone 2

For my second milestone I soldered all my parts onto a PCB (Printed Circuit Board). After soldering all the components onto my PCB I had to line my tin can with electrical tape so that the metal would not interfere with the current flow. One of the challenge I faced when doing the project was that I had to change my switch so that it turned on automatically when you open the tin can.

Milestone 1

My first milestone was basically completing my final project on a breadboard. As a modification I added an LED light that lights up when you open it. The LED was added to my breadboard. So taking this basic step further in the next milestone, I planned to put together the circuit for the Prank Altoid Tin project.

Starter Project 

For my starter project I chose the Minty Boost Portable Charger that runs on AA batteries. My project consisted of soldering multiple components onto a circuit board. These components included some resistors, diodes, bypass capacitors, electrolytic capacitors, and a battery clip. The inductor alongwith the boost converter chip and the capacitor is responsible for increasing the voltage to 5V from a 3V provided by the AA batteries. The chip implements a switch which turns on and off repeatedly. When the switch is on, current flowing through the inductor produces a magnetic field and when the switch is off, the current from the inductor adds up and stores electrical energy in the capacitor. This process repeats until 5V is reached. Once 5V is reached, the process of turning on and off keeps continuing to maintain the 5V required for charging.  A difficulty I faced while completing my project is that I burnt a hole on my circuit board, so I had to find an alternate way to put those resistors onto the circuit board. I tested the circuit with my phone and it works. Below is the schematic for my project.

  • Ms.Rivera

    Nykai! This is so impressive! Great work kid!

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