For the first project, using the FPGA is optional.  You might want to learn how to construct a working circuit out of wires and other components.  You're also welcome to use Arduino or any other device, as long as your circuit is inputting and outputting physical voltages.  I'm not interested in simulations.    

         If you use the FPGA board, you must wire it to something external.  Since the board has its own switches and LEDs, it might be nice to wire it to something different, like a speaker, photodiode, voltmeter, or oscilloscope.

         Your project doesn't have to be novel; it's okay to reproduce projects done by others.  If you get your idea from some source, please cite the source, and describe exactly what you copied from the source. 

         If you're not sure if I'm going to like the project you have in mind, you're welcome to ask me.  The scale of the project might depend on your background and interest.

         You and your lab partner may submit a joint report for each project.  You do not need to adhere to any lab report format, but you should write clearly and unambiguously.  If there's any possible way that someone can misunderstand your sentences, rewrite them.   The reader should be able to reproduce your project, so you should include circuit diagrams, Verilog source code, or any other necessary information.

         You have two choices for your second project:  finding a secret message in ROM, or using UART serial communication.  If you don't like these options, and you have a suitably ambitious alternative idea, please ask if I'll approve your idea. 

         Please show me your working project before you dismantle it (tearfully and with sighs of grief).