STEM is a vital field of study. The world has always needed engineers and scientists, and as technology becomes a more prominent part of daily life, these occupations will be all the more crucial.
A well-rounded science and engineering education is an invaluable tool for the workforce of tomorrow. STEM jobs are growing at a faster rate than the national average and typically pay more as well. To capitalize on these opportunities, students need to start learning STEM tools while they're young.
Higher education will equip students with the tools to succeed in STEM, but to make the most of it, they need to learn some things early on. One of the most valuable skills for young students to learn is PCB design. Learning circuit board design at a young age can provide students with a variety of essential engineering skills and knowledge.
Preparedness for a Variety of Tasks
Printed circuit boards are a central element of nearly all electronics, connecting and supporting all electrical components. If a student doesn't understand circuit boards, they'll have trouble understanding the rest of a machine.
Different devices and systems require specific skills and areas of knowledge. The challenge of early STEM education is preparing students for any of the various focuses of study they might want to pursue later on. Learning PCB design can do precisely that.
Since circuit boards are in virtually everything, most electrical engineering tasks will involve working with them. Whether a student pursues industrial work, computer design, robotics or anything in between, they'll use PCBs.
Understanding the Importance of Fine Details
Engineering, like any STEM field, is heavily concerned with understanding the consequences of minuscule changes. If a student doesn't grasp the importance of the details, they won't be able to solve larger problems. Circuit board design teaches them to pay attention to the overlookable parts of their work.
To understand effective PCB layout, students will have to consider minute details such as the specific metals used for different parts of the circuit board. The compact yet simultaneously complex nature of PCBs teaches future engineers to think small to solve complex issues.
Establishing Robust Baseline Knowledge
The further a student progresses in their education, the more narrow their studies will become. The goal of STEM in younger students is not to foster expertise in any specific field, but to provide them with a well-rounded baseline knowledge. Circuit board design demonstrates a wealth of concepts used in all manner of STEM electronics.
Designing a PCB provides a variety of practical lessons that students will need to learn before they tackle more complicated fields of study. From understanding how different components work together to the importance of proper planning, circuit board design can teach valuable engineering skills.
Circuit board design is a microcosm of electrical engineering as a whole. It's a gateway into the vast world of electrical and mechanical design that awaits students that wish to pursue STEM.
Experience With the Tools of the Trade
Just as PCB design involves skills that students will use later on, it requires common engineering tools as well. Engineers use a variety of equipment that students will need to be familiar with as they advance through their studies. Circuit board design can provide a space for students to learn how to use these tools.
PCB design isn't hazardous, so students can learn to use the tools of the trade in a safe environment. It allows young future engineers to get used to equipment like soldering irons and electronic test equipment virtually risk-free.
Know a Future Engineer? If So, Learn About Circuit Board Design
STEM is an indispensable part of education, and circuit board design is an essential part of STEM. Learning PCB design in the early stages of their education will provide students with a robust set of skills to help them as they grow.
Once they reach adulthood, they can explore a variety of career paths, from business support services to aerospace manufacturing.
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Kayla Matthews is a robotics and EdTech writer whose work has appeared on The Robot Report, Information Age, Learning Liftoff and Robotics Business Review. To read more from Kayla, please visit her tech blog.