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JANUARY 2020 I PCB007 MAGAZINE 17 For industry insiders who want to get in- volved, Gunter du Plessis explains, "We are al- ways seeking volunteers to join us during the STEM events, depending on the activity. Let us know if you want to provide supplemental technical instruction and/or guidance in one of the technical learning tracks; engage with students (informally) about your career, job, and/or company to help expand their under- standing of careers in electronics; or help coor- dinate student activities." When I asked Rudolph about her biggest personal takeaway, she said, "Having students be proud of the projects they complete and be successful in school and gain more confidence in their future." A final note from IPC Education Foundation is that this event is free for participating stu- dents, and they are thankful for the support from their sponsors: TTM, Nordson, Panasonic, Weller, and I-Connect007. PCB007 Learn More • IPC Education Foundation Student Chapters • IPC Education Foundation 2019 Scholarship Award Winners to solder, and their faces light up when they complete the hands-on activity. Project-based learning is so important, and our hands-on sol- dering events have a strong focus on applica- tions that support classroom teaching." When I asked Rudolph how she became in- volved with the program, she said, "I have been teaching high school robotics for the last 5.5 years. I was asked how I plan to add more electronics education to my course by IPC. I told them about what I have been doing with circuits and breadboarding and how excit- ed I am about adding more electronics to my course. As a result, I took a course to get an IPC J-standard certification in soldering. I have been working with IPC with the goal of shar- ing with other teachers and expanding my pro- gram for the last 1.5 years." To that end, IPC has been reaching out be- yond the San Diego local area as well. Gunter du Plessis elaborates, "We have expanded our community across the U.S. and established 26 IPC Student Chapters at local universities and community colleges." Gunter du Plessis con- tinues, "We've hosted six hands-on soldering STEM-focused events in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Alabama, California, and Illinois that engaged nearly 400 students. We've engaged with hundreds of CTE teachers and instructors in over 16 states." Rudolph adds, "STEM projects take extra time to set up and figure out how to run in a classroom. They take money to buy the ma- terials. And teachers have to learn to let stu- dents experiment and be willing not to know the answers all the time. It is a lot of fun, but it is something that takes experience that many teachers don't get a chance to acquire." There are scholarship opportunities, as well. Gunter du Plessis shares, "We awarded $30,000 in scholarships and impacted 23 students, one educator, and six schools." She adds, "The IPC Education Foundation officially launched at the beginning of 2019 and has made excel- lent inroads. We have established a solid plat- form and will continue to create connections between individuals—such as students in high school and college, teachers, instructors, pro- fessionals—and IPC industry members." Dadre Rudolph

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