Altium, IPC Education Foundation, and Arduino Announce Student Electronics Design Competition


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Altium LLC, the leading printed circuit board (PCB) software company, is partnering with the IPC Education Foundation (IPCEF) and Arduino to launch the first student electronics design challenge to engage, educate, and enhance printed circuit board (PCB) design capabilities while developing STEM solutions to environmental challenges.

The Innovation for Environmental Change 2021 International Student Design Competition (#PCBeTheChange) engages student teams to help address common environmental concerns using Altium’s educational tools with Arduino hardware.

Teams from high schools and colleges will be using Altium’s Upverter Modular PCB design software and the Arduino Portenta H7 to create a prototype design 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.

As Lotte Nørregaard Andersen, Head of Arduino Education, elaborates, "At Arduino, we believe that it is very crucial to empower scientists of the future to address common challenges of our time using technology. We’re delighted to partner with Altium LLC and the IPC Education Foundation in the Innovation for Environmental Change 2021 International Student Design Competition; this competition really aligns with our goal of creating the next generation of STEM solutions."

Participating teams can enter the design challenge while harnessing Altium’s Upverter Education training modules plus 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.

“Students learning electronics design can get a comprehensive overview of how to design their own hardware with guided training in easy-to-understand modules. We’re honored to support the next generation of electronics designers by providing the curriculum and tools students need for the contest,” adds Rea Callender, Vice President of Upverter Education.

Winning teams will be eligible to win cash prizes for each category: high school and college: $1500 (1st prize), $750 (2nd prize) and $500 (3rd prize), free access to IPC APEX EXPO in San Diego, CA from January 25-27, 2022 as well as virtual access to AltiumLive 2022 CONNECT, co-located alongside the IPC APEX EXPO at the San Diego Convention Center. Designs will be featured on display at the IPC Design Booth; awards will be presented at the IPC APEX EXPO STEM Outreach Event.

Charlene Gunter, Senior Director of IPCEF shares, “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 collaborative partnership 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.”

Open registration is available via Upverter Education for the design challenge beginning on Monday, August 16th and runs through Friday, October 1st; team designs must be received online by Friday, November 19th. Competition winners will be announced on Friday, December 17th, followed by virtual presentations for the first place, and runner-up entrants.

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