The IPC STEM Event Inspires

Reading time ( words)

Once again, IPC APEX EXPO featured its successful STEM event, organized by the IPC Education Foundation, and sponsored by several companies, including I-Connect007. The event had nearly 80 students in person for a hands-on introduction to our industry. After the welcoming comments, the students broke into groups for different activities. While some enjoyed a guided tour of the show floor, upstairs the other students learned how to solder. Then they rotated so that they all had the same opportunities.

These students, many of whom were having their first exposure to the world of electronics, kept focused on the task in front of them—solder a small circuit board that would make a connection for two LEDs to illuminate on the opposite side of the board.

Students sat four to a table, a hot soldering iron next to them, a paper full of instructions, and a chance for some true hands-on learning. As the students worked, volunteer IPC committee members and Emerging Engineers roamed around, helping students where needed and remembering back to their own first experiences in the industry.

Of course, when you set several people at table to complete the task it can quickly turn into a fun competition. We caught up with two students who did just that. (See the video below)

Though this a STEM introduction event, we learned that several of the students we talked to had little intention of pursuing a career in electronics, nonetheless the exposure to the industry demonstrated that possible careers are much larger than they may have imagined before attending the IPC APEX EXPO event.

When asked about their career paths, here are some of their responses:

  • I want to be film director
  • I’m looking for nursing
  • Marine biology
  • A career in the film industry
  • Probably a STEM field
  • Owning a business, having my own business
  • I don’t know, but something in the music industry hopefully
  • Apprenticeship, electrician

During the event we also interviewed one of the teachers, Melissa Woods, who brought her students to this event and past events. She expressed her desire to continue bringing students to the event because it broadens their horizons and demonstrates new opportunities. Her interview follows.

To read this entire article, which appeared in the Real Time with… IPC APEX EXPO 2022 Show & Tell Magazine, click here.


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