Engineering Academy Field Trip to STI Electronics

Allie Brown, Writer

Engineering is not something taken lightly here in Madison, and it is no different for the Madison City School system. In addition to the various classes, teachers reach out to companies and colleges to give students opportunities to see engineering in the real world.

This past week students from Liberty Middle School and Bob Jones High School went on a field trip that introduced them to Project OWL. The trip was hosted by STI Electronics. Project OWL, run by IPC, is a project that exposes and engages high school students in soldering, circuitry design and coding, and careers in electronics. STI Electronics, based here in Madison, is an organization whose common goal is to provide support through products and services in the field of electronics manufacturing.

Students were provided with circuit boards and parts as well as a training session from professional trainers at STI Electronics. They had the chance to learn about what each component to the circuit board does and how to place and solder their board. After the training session, students were provided lunch and talked to a panel of engineers that work for STI. I asked students that attended the field trip what their favorite part of the field trip was, and the majority agreed soldering the board.

Why is it so important for students to get these opportunities? MCS Career Coach Kaleb Owens said, “It is important to make these collaborations happen because students must get exposure to career areas while they are still in high school. This exposure will hopefully allow them to make a connection between their current curriculum and their future career. If students can connect these two things, they are very likely to find a productive post-secondary career pathway.”

Charlene Gunter du Plessis, Director of Strategic Partnerships and Programs for Project OWL, explained what drove IPC to provide these opportunities to students. “We want to provide ample opportunities to expose a new generation to the potential of rewarding careers in an industry that requires workers with critical skills. We’ve pledged to upskill and train American workers with the technical skills they need to be successful in this industry.”

To read more about Project OWL:
To read more about STI Electronics: