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


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Altium LLC, the leading printed circuit board (PCB) design software company, 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 excellent 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.

Teams will use Altium Upverter Modular PCB design software and the Arduino Portenta 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.

As Yu Hu, head of Arduino Education, elaborates, "At Arduino, we believe that it is very 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.”

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.

“It was fascinating to see 87 teams from around the world participate, leveraging the printed circuit board design knowledge they had learned from Altium’s Upverter Education, to address important environmental issues. We are excited to see more unique designs from this year’s contestants and are honored to again have the opportunity to provide the curriculum and tools students need for the contest,” adds Rea Callender, vice president of education at Altium. 

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, California from January 24-26, 2023. Designs will be displayed 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 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.” 

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

For more information, please contact upverter.education@altium.com. 

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About Altium
Altium, LLC  (ASX:ALU) is a global software company headquartered in San Diego, California, accelerating the pace of innovation through electronics. For over 30 years, Altium has been delivering software that maximizes the productivity of PCB designers and electrical engineers. From individual inventors to multinational corporations, more PCB designers and engineers choose Altium software to design and realize electronics-based products.

About Upverter Education
Upverter Education, launched by Altium in September 2020, is addressing an important societal need by empowering STEM educators teaching engineering, electronics design, and robotics with free essential tools and classroom resources. The program has been honored with multiple awards, including the EdTech Breakthrough Award, for Best Engineering Learning Solution and the Gold STEVIE® American Business Award, further validating Altium’s innovative approach to supporting STEM education.

About IPC Education Foundation (IPCEF)
The IPC Education Foundation creates awareness of the careers the electronics manufacturing industry has to offer students in high school and college by providing them with opportunities to access people, courses, and knowledge through key programs: 1) The IPC Student Chapter program provides scholarships, industry-standard education, industry connections, and access to hands-on competitions, especially with the support of industry experts and professionals; 2) IPC Video Subscription Libraries provide access to industry-relevant content to students in high school and college, and 3) a variety of engagement initiatives like in-person/virtual events, webinars, and classroom activities.

About Arduino
Arduino is the leading open-source hardware and software company in the world. Born to provide an easy-to-use platform for anyone making interactive projects, Arduino has reached a growing community and adapted to new needs and challenges, branching out into products for IoT, wearables, 3D printing, and embedded environments. As of today, the Arduino community included approximately 30 million active users.

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