At school I did woodwork and electronics. I still love the smell of sawdust, I associate it with good memories. In year 10 we built a remote controlled car out of wood and plastic circuitry. It took a whole term: first of all you had to solder the components (resistors, transistors, IC…) to the circuit board. The smell of making a circuit board is really distinct. Then you had to build the body of the car, then connect the wires to different places. The car was basically two bits of wood and wires going everywhere. Then you had to build a remote: a wooden box with perspex on the top. I painted a maze onto it.

When I first tested it, the remote and the car were set to different frequencies and I was worried that it wasn’t going to work. Maybe I’d soldered something incorrectly? But then I changed the frequency and it worked! It felt like I’d given birth to a child.

This class got me interested in building robots and now I study it full time. The reason I took this class initially was because my friend was taking it, but it became the best surprise.


Wood (dominant smell), circuit board solution, wires.