Activity 1.2- Systems and Subsystems

Purpose
Have you ever wondered why someone invented doors that open automatically when you approach them? Your parents and teachers may remember when automatic doors were not the norm. Why do you think someone created them in the first place? Quite possibly, because store customers could not open the door while holding bags of groceries or while pushing a cart to their cars, an ingenious store owner decided to make it easier for his/her customers to get in and out of the store by having automatic doors. Another reason might be the influence of the Universal Accessibility Law that came about as a result of pressure from more and more people with mobility difficulties who wanted access to stores and offices. Automatic doors are just one example of a system that is made up of smaller subsystems. Some of the subsystems that make the doors open and close are power, processing controllers and visual, or motion sensors. Each of these requires inputs to produce the desired output.

Systems come in all shapes and sizes. The one thing they all have in common is the fact that they were designed to accomplish a specific task. You are surrounded by other examples of technological systems which are in place to help you cope more easily with your surroundings and environment.

In this activity, you will look at other examples of systems and investigate the subsystems that are found in them.