IPC Education Foundation STEM Outreach


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The IPC Education Foundation (IPCEF) hosted its annual STEM Outreach event on Thursday, January 27 at IPC APEX EXPO in San Diego. Due to COVID restrictions and regulations on field trips, the Foundation unfortunately could not host all the schools and students as initially planned, but we were thrilled to welcome nearly 80 students from e3 Civic High School, San Diego.

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, a roundtable discussion, and a tour of the IPC APEX EXPO show floor. IPCEF believes that these kinds of activities raise awareness of the skills needed and opportunities available in the electronics manufacturing industry.

The event began with an inspirational video and personal keynote address by Sean Patterson, president of the Americas for Nano Dimension, about the industry, the company, and their future goals. The Career Panel Luncheon, sponsored by TTM Technologies, was broadcast live to approximately 600 attendees, and was moderated by John Mitchell, IPC president and CEO. The panelists representing the industry, sharing insights and personal career path journeys, were Matt Kelly, IPC; Christina Rutherford, Honeywell; Chance Tiner, TTM Technologies; Aviram Iancovici, Nano Dimension; and Jason Fullerton, CAES.

Matt Kelly, IPC chief technologist, encouraged students to consider pursuing internship opportunities and said that “an internship is as valuable as earning your degree or qualification.” Jason Fullerton echoed it by saying that an internship opened his eyes to what he really wanted to do as a career.

“I changed my major from an industrial engineer to a manufacturing engineer and this change suited me better,” he said. “I learned what I wanted to do in the factory, and I was able to identify that before I was pigeonholed into something I wouldn’t enjoy for the rest of my life. The second most valuable thing I learned was that I was able to work with industry experts that were in the industry for 10, 20, 30 years who became mentors to me.” Chance Tiner added that hands-on experience and projects add value to a resume and that any form or qualification in computer science would be extremely valuable or beneficial in terms of career opportunities today.

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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