SOUL Seeking Finalist Feature: Ed A.

Shawnigan students have been working hard all year on their SOUL Seeking inquiry projects. Following two days of science fair-style presentations, 16 finalists were announced, with the top three projects chosen after final presentations were made to a panel of judges. Over the next few weeks, we will feature each of these outstanding finalists. Congratulations to all students on another wonderful year of SOUL Seeking! 
Grade 11 student Ed A.’s year of discovery involved designing a keyboard that could be used as a stenograph. Having built keyboards in the past, he wanted to expand on that knowledge by building and creating his own parts, and he felt a stenograph was the right place to start. Stenography is a shorthand way of typing that, with practice, can record speech while keeping up with the human speaking cadence, and is often used to record courtroom hearings or to subtitle live tv. From this idea, he got to work building a keyboard that could serve the same purpose. First, he created a layout with a computer keyboard that would work with stenograph keys; then, he made a wired keyboard around this layout. 
To create his final product, Ed needed to apply the use of Shawnigan’s on-campus 3D printer and laser cutter and have a good working knowledge of computer programming. He was able to connect the key switches with a wiring matrix and finished by creating firmware for the layout that allows a computer to read inputs and output with the appropriate letter. Ed hopes to pursue electrical engineering in the future, and this project has him well on his way as it involved building circuits, using diodes and learning soldering techniques. He felt that starting with a stenograph would prepare him for one day designing a more traditional keyboard that can be used in everyday life.

Thanks to his hard work, keen interest and unquestionable ability, Ed received an honourable mention at this year's SOUL Seeking Showcase. Congratulations, Ed!
We acknowledge with respect the Coast Salish Peoples on whose traditional lands and waterways we live, learn and play. We are grateful for the opportunity to share in this beautiful region, and we aspire to healthy and respectful relationships with those who have lived on and cared for these lands for millennia.