Altium, ICPEF and Arduino announce electronics design competition


Wednesday, 21 September, 2022

Altium, ICPEF and Arduino announce electronics design competition

Printed circuit board (PCB) design software company Altium LLC is partnering with the IPC Education Foundation (IPCEF) and Arduino to launch the second annual student electronics design challenge. This competition aims to engage, educate and enhance PCB design capabilities while developing STEM solutions to environmental challenges. The electronics design challenge is an opportunity for students to showcase their talents and gain real-world experience.

The Innovation for Environmental Change 2022 International Student Design Competition (#PCBeTheChange) engages student teams to help address common environmental concerns using Altium’s educational tools with Arduino hardware. Over 17 countries submitted entries to last year’s competition, which addressed various local environmental issues, including city traffic, shoreline erosion, bushfire detection, honey bee endangerment and more.

As part of the competition, teams will use Altium Upverter Modular PCB design software and the Arduino H7 to create prototype designs that will improve the environment in each team’s respective local area. The teams will be challenged to tackle one or more environmental concerns, such as air pollution, water quality and solar energy capture.

Yu Hu, Head of Arduino Education, said that it is crucial to empower the scientists and engineers of the future to address the common challenges of our time by using technology for the benefit of many. “Last year’s entries showed an amazing combination of ingenuity, curiosity and technical skills in their designs, and we’re excited to see what new and innovative STEM solutions the teams will submit this year,” Hu said.

Participating teams will enter the design challenge while harnessing Altium Upverter Education and the Upverter Modular tool. Altium features multiple educational initiatives designed to support high school STEM teachers and students, along with programs to support college students and industry professionals.

Winning high school or college teams will be eligible to win cash prizes for each category: $1500 for first prize, $750 for second prize and $500 for third prize winners. Winners will also receive free access to IPC APEX EXPO in San Diego, California, from 24–26 January 2023. The designs will be displayed at the IPC Design Booth, with the awards presented at the IPC APEX EXPO STEM Outreach Event. Rea Callender, Vice President of Education at Altium, said that 87 teams from around the world participated in the competition last year, leveraging the printed circuit board design knowledge they had learned from Altium’s Upverter Education, to address important environmental issues.

“We believe that opportunities and experiences like this will allow students to gain awareness and access to the electronics manufacturing industry and in turn help them reach their career goals. This collaboration with Altium, Upverter Education, and Arduino showcases our mutual goals of engaging and educating students in PCB design, and we look forward to seeing the creativity and solutions the teams will create this year,” said Charlene Gunter, Senior Director of IPCEF.

Open registration for the design challenge is available now via Upverter Education and runs through Monday, 3 October. Teams must submit their designs online by Friday, 18 November. Competition winners will be announced on Wednesday, 14 December, followed by virtual presentations for the first place and runner-up entrants.

Image credit: iStock.com/SrdjanPav

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