Are You Looking for a Way to Introduce a Basic Engineering Principle?

Prototype pcb assembly

The schedule is set. The lunch is ordered. The gift bags are ready. The simple printed circuit board activity was organized.
When your husband reluctantly attended the screening of a new documentary about STEM education opportunities for girls of poverty and color last December he did not anticipate the impact this presentation would have. After watching the 20 minute video and after listening to several students, parents, and leaders talk, though, your husband was full of questions.
Would this group want to visit the data center where he works?
Have the girls every seen a data storage center and did they understand its purpose?
When the STEM group made their visits in the summer, what did they most want to see or do?
Fast forward six months and your husband has worked with the entire staff of his company to host an afternoon visit that would introduce these teenage girls of color to the world of secure data storage. With four different women from the company scheduled to either present or field questions at lunch, your husband hoped that even if the visitors had no idea what the data storage industry was like at the beginning of the day, the teenage girls would walk away thinking that they could see themselves in one of these careers someday.
Although he was excited about the whole schedule, your husband was most looking forward to the basic, but intriguing, demonstration explaining quick turn PCB specs. One of the employees on staff had presented a similar activity as an engineering badge activity for a local group of Boy Scouts, and she was willing to repeat the activity with these female visitors. In fact, your husband had asked for his own quick turn PCB specs kit so that he could participate in the activity as well.
Printed circuit boards are a part of every piece of technology that we use. From complicated computer systems in a car to the most simple kitchen appliance, circuit board prototyping and the resulting printed boards play an integral role. The two basic types of circuit assemblies are related to the printed circuit board. The first, an integrated circuit, sometimes called an IC or microchip, and the second, a hybrid circuit. Used in a variety of formats, both of these circuit assemblies can be replicated in almost any size.

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