During times of change one often starts to reminiscing about moments that brought a smile to your face or activities that positively impacted students and teachers’ lives. One of these events took place in the beginning of February in San Diego, CA – The annual IPC APEX EXPO. The IPC Education Foundation hosted its STEM Outreach event on February 6th at IPC APEX EXPO in San Diego. The day was packed with several hands-on technical activities, career exploration, and industry engagement. Nine local high schools attended bringing 193 students and 30 educators from: Mission Hills High School, Morse High School, North County Trade Tech High School, Saint Marcos High School, E3 Civic High School, Point Loma High School, Otay Ranch High School, Mount Miguel High School and Otay Ranch High School - Girls in STEM.
Twice as many students were able to participate this year and each participating high school received a $1,000 grant and soldering station to enhance STEM-related learning at their school. The student participation and awards were made possible through the generous support of our event sponsors: Foxconn Interconnect Industries, Nordson, Panasonic, TTM Technologies, and Weller Apex Tools. We are truly grateful for their support and participation in the day’s activities.
The day was packed with several hands-on technical activities, career exploration, and industry engagement. The students participated in educational tracks with a focus on soldering, PCB design, and building circuits with bread boards. The IPC Education Foundation believes that these kinds of activities raise awareness of the skills needed and opportunities available in the electronics manufacturing industry.
Perhaps even more impactful, the students were able to engage with industry professionals during the career panel discussion and tour of the IPC APEX EXPO show floor. The career panel discussion was moderated by John Mitchell, IPC President and CEO. Several students asked questions to a diverse group of industry professionals who provided answers often prompting other professionals in the room to share their experiences. Lam Tse, Business Development Manager at Panasonic, said “When you are in high school it’s sometimes hard to see what a STEM education translates to in the real world but IPC does a great job at showing the students what is possible with a STEM related education by connecting the students with people in the industry.”
Kathy Schulze, an engineering teacher at Point Loma High School shared “I can't thank you enough for the wonderful event that IPC APEX EXPO put on for the students of San Diego County. My students really enjoyed the event and learned a lot about the industry. I personally was fascinated by the show room floor and all the AI products currently on the market. The whole affair was exceptionally well organized and very educational.”
It was wonderful to recognize 4 of the 23 IPC Student Member Scholarship Winners in person at the event. Fernando Galvez from the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, Deepak Bondre from the University of Maryland, Mohamed El Amine Belhadi and Mohammed Abueed from Auburn University attended the IPC APEX STEM Outreach Event. Belhadi serves the IPC Student Chapter as Chapter President and shared that the "IPC scholarship inspired and boosted me to accomplish further advanced research in electronics reliability for future applications. I will use the funds to acquire more research materials and pay for the PCB design training."
The students and teachers left feeling inspired. We believe that we planted the seeds of the possibility for an emerging workforce to consider the electronics manufacturing industry a viable career path. To read more about the event - Please visit IConnect007’s website and download the Magazine: http://pcb.iconnect007.com/magazines/show-tell-magazine/. The IPC STEM Outreach event features on pages: 42-49.
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