We launched the IPC Education Foundation at the annual IPC APEX EXPO at the end of January. The highlight of the week, which includes committee meetings, ice cream socials, trivia nights, awards, and displays of some of the most innovative manufacturing machinery, was our STEM Outreach Program.
More than 100 students from six schools had the opportunity to try soldering at professional soldering stations, visit several industry booths, and learn from our professional panels. I was lucky enough to serve as the guide for Che Nevarez‘s class at Otay Ranch High School.
I heard a few students say that the show floor reminded them of Comic-con. There were robots, tools, and huge machines that are all part of the electronics supply chain. I was afraid it could be a dry subject for the students, but it was clear by the questions they asked and that the students were truly engaged. The Tesla was a hit too.
Every company representative I spoke to were excited to have the students there. They know they need innovative young people to join the industry and they rolled out the welcome mat.
This is the second year we’ve held the STEM Outreach Program and we’re just getting started. We plan on doubling the number of attendees next year we aren’t stopping there. Be sure and stay tuned for more events in 2019.