Author Topic: How to get schoolkids to choose to go into Electronics Engineering.  (Read 2943 times)

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Offline FaringdonTopic starter

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Do you agree, the following is how to get schoolkids into Electronics Engineering?.....

Dear
Please assist in growing an Electronics Engineering industry that can be used to make the electronics needed to make “stuff” that todays world means we desperately need.
Bringing back the Power Supply Engineering sector to us is key to growing the entire   Electronics Engineering sector.

When the Civilian Electronics Engineering industry is enhanced for us, then the “stuff”  Electronics industry can feed off it and grow.

Electronics is the key to it. Electronics is an area of engineering that is deemed “difficult” by school pupils, and so they avoid it. Preferring instead Mechanical Engineering (not saying that’s any easier) , or other non-Engineering careers.

The key to this, is to specifically bring "Power Supply Engineering" back to the fore.  At the moment, it is pretty well exclusively outsourced to “somewhere else”. Power Supply Engineering , due to its transparency, is that branch of electronics that is within the capability range of most students. (anybody who wants to put in the work could expect to attain “power supply engineer ability”)
So, In order to entice school pupils to choose electronics, we must make them believe that they have a decent chance of learning it well enough to get a job in it. And it’s the Power Supply Engineering sector that allows this.

Of course, once they get on an Electronics course, they may then find that they get on well with one of the other sectors of electronics, which is fine. Indeed, may of them will do, and this will fill out those sectors aswell, which is good because it would provide engineers needed for the revival of the Electronics Engineering industry. Providing the number of engineers needed for “stuff”  work. These engineers can reside in the civilian sector until they move to the “stuff” sector, since the theory of electronics is the same, whether “stuff” or civil.
Power Supply Engineering is a branch of electronics that is much easier to learn than other areas of electronics. This is because the internet is very full of websites teaching about it. The “secrecy” enshrouding other branch’s of electronics is not nearly so prevalent in Power Supply Engineering.

Almost every electronics product needs a power supply, so it’s an area well “trodden over”, and indeed, learning how to integrate a product with a power supply is an area of crucial importance , which often ruins the progress of electronics products that are in-the-making, if not done properly. Even if you are buying in a power supply, you need to know the ins-and-outs of power supply engineering in order to successfully integrate your product with it.

Also, the simulators for Power Supply Engineering are free-of-charge (LTspice). Also, the lab equipment needed to work in the Power Supply sector is much cheaper than other branch’s of electronics. Eg oscilloscopes, Multimeters, soldering irons etc. For example, a cheap scope is way cheaper than the cost of a Vector Network Analyzer that is needed for eg RF engineering. Also, the components needed to build power supplies are way cheaper than other areas of electronics. A student could well envision being able to build and test a power supply at home, “on the kitchen table”. This is essential, as you can’t develop as an engineer without “designing and then making things”.

The following are the various sectors of electronics: 1….Semiconductor engineering (VLSI) 2….Electric motors and drives 3….FPGA and high speed digital 4….Embedded software 4A…High level software 5….Radio and Microwave engineering 5…Control Engineering 6….Audio Engineering 7…Power Generation & Distribution

..Also, there is “General Analog electronics”, which gets used in all of the above sectors. In particular, Power Supply Engineers have excellent General Analog electronics skills, because all that circuitry is used as auxiliary circuitry in power supplies.
Other sectors such as battery chargers, solar inverters and lighting, all fall under the “Power Supply Engineering” blanket.

Power Supply Engineering these days, is mostly concerned with “Switch Mode Power Supplies”. Also, even though “Power Supply Engineering” is the easiest branch of electronics to develop an ability in, its a fact that in its most advanced form, its just as challenging as any other sector of electronics. Though the key point is that it’s the easiest sector in which “working engineer ability” can be attained.
Bringing back the “Power Supply Design & Manufacture industry” to us  is key to growing the Electronics Engineering sector, that is needed to build the “stuff” desperately needed today.
Of course, certain “stuff” electronics often involves Radio and Microwave Engineering, and also often FPGA and high speed digital. However, to get people into these sectors, you have to first get them to choose Electronics Engineering courses. And its Power Supply Engineering sector that can get those numbers of students to take the plunge into Electronics in the first place.

Of note, Drone technology involves multiple sectors, but the drone propeller drive is from the “Electric motors & Drives” sector of electronics, which is very close to the “Power Supply sector”. Indeed they both fall under the “Power Electronics” blanket. A power supply engineer would not find it difficult to transfer their skills to this sector.
Electronics could easily be brought back to us. It wouldnt hurt economically, since the proliferation of engineering skills in the economy would bring industries and revenue to us. There are thousands of ways of manufacturing electronics without high labour intensiveness.

Please could you help to advertise this to the school children throughout? I believe it would be good to make a video detailing the Power Supply sector to the pupils, and thereby inviting them to study Electronics Engineering.
Encouraging them that there actually are areas of electronics after all, where they could well expect to attain enough ability to be employable within electronics. Making them realise that Electronics isn’t all as hard as they imagine.
If I send a video, may I ask would you please help to get it sent it to the schools? Better still would be to arrange some sports personality etc to narrate the video. Inspire the pupils like that.
Thankyou for reading.
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Offline tggzzz

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No I wouldn't, because it is a load of impractical bollocks.

Get off your obsession, and get a life. There is more to life than SMPSs

Written in green ink, because that's the colour you should use when writing your letters.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
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Online Roehrenonkel

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Hi,
i stopped reading right after "Do you agree".....
 
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Online nctnico

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No I wouldn't, because it is a load of impractical bollocks.

Get off your obsession, and get a life. There is more to life than SMPSs

Written in green ink, because that's the colour you should use when writing your letters.
True. OTOH there is quite some mystification where it comes to switching power supplies. Worse case I've seen was a project participant flat out refusing to redesign a board they developed because they had to hire a specialist again to do the layout for some simple off-the-shelve SMPS chips (which come with app notes showing exactly how to do layout).
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 
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Offline armandine2

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I agree with the general sentiment - that primary school kids <=11years - in the uk should have a much better design & technology curriculum, delivered with more thought and hope/passion.

Electronics could play a part - not central.

A way to encourage some of that might be to develop some teaching materials for the class room teacher to use.  :popcorn:
Funny, the things you have the hardest time parting with are the things you need the least - Bob Dylan
 
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Offline ebastler

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I think it would be more beneficial to the UK economy in general to focus on technologies (electronics and otherwise) which are more differentiated than power supplies.

I think it would be more beneficial for schoolkids with a talent and an interest in technology to focus on more novel, exciting, differentiated topics than power supplies. 

And I think it would be more beneficial for schoolkids without such talent and interest to focus on other careers, rather than going into power supplies "because it's simple enough that I can just about handle it", and then hang on by their fingernails for the remainder of their careers.
 
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Online soldar

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He's the kind of guy that when you ask him what's the time he tells you how to build a clock.
All my posts are made with 100% recycled electrons and bare traces of grey matter.
 
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Offline IanB

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Electronics is a bad career choice for anyone in the UK to consider, given the woefully poor salaries on offer.
 
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Offline themadhippy

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There a shortage in many industrys,what we need is to stop the university= good no university =waster mindset,about the only thing your guaranteed on leaving uni is a nice big debt.Also we need to stop forcing advising kids on a career path,let em chose.
 
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Offline Gyro

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That letter is likely to send schoolkids running and screaming for their Geography books and Shakespeare's sonnets!  ::)

By all means provide children with interesting information and demonstrations to show them the possibilities and variety in science and technology careers. That usual Faringdon / treez drivel is an embarrassing enough read for forum members without exposing kids to it. Hey son / daughter, just think of the exciting and fulfilling life you could have in the field of SMPSs! Edit: You too could share Faringdons lifestyle.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2024, 06:18:07 pm by Gyro »
Best Regards, Chris
 
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Offline jonovid

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Re: How to get schoolkids to choose to go into Electronics Engineering.
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2024, 06:13:09 pm »
Electronics as a career so is it hardware vs software ?  do we let them learn to code?
Hobbyist with a basic knowledge of electronics
 
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Offline FaringdonTopic starter

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Re: How to get schoolkids to choose to go into Electronics Engineering.
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2024, 06:16:26 pm »
Quote
And I think it would be more beneficial for schoolkids without such talent and interest to focus on other careers, rather than going into power supplies "because it's simple enough that I can just about handle it", and then hang on by their fingernails for the remainder of their careers.
Thanks, i see your point, but do any of us remember when we were small kids...and we learned to speak our native tongue without any problem?.....this shows that most have the capability to learn electronics, without needing to "hang on by the fingernails".

But yes i see your point, and not everyone should go into electronics. And i guess the people who dont go in would best be the ones who think they dont like it.

There are situations of course, (lets not go into them here) that might make one go into something that initially they didnt think they liked...to achieve something particular, or to be safe from something.

Quote
Electronics as a career so is it hardware vs software ?  do we let them learn to code?
Yes, why not.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2024, 06:18:58 pm by Faringdon »
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Offline Gyro

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Re: How to get schoolkids to choose to go into Electronics Engineering.
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2024, 06:20:41 pm »
.....this shows that most have the capability to learn electronics, without needing to "hang on by the fingernails".

What's your excuse then?  :-\
Best Regards, Chris
 
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Online nctnico

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Re: How to get schoolkids to choose to go into Electronics Engineering.
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2024, 06:25:30 pm »
Electronics is a bad career choice for anyone in the UK to consider, given the woefully poor salaries on offer.
Yeah. Going into electronics is like being a musician. You do it for the joy of it. Not the money.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 
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Offline pcprogrammer

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Re: How to get schoolkids to choose to go into Electronics Engineering.
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2024, 06:40:21 pm »
Electronics is a bad career choice for anyone in the UK to consider, given the woefully poor salaries on offer.

A career choice should not be based on money alone. It is better to go into a job that you enjoy even if it does not pay that much, than to shoot for the stars, maybe suck at it, get stressed and be miserable for the remainder of that career and maybe for the rest of your life.

To stimulate children into electronics parents should introduce them to hobby sets like those old science kits Phillips and other firms made. No idea if they still make such things. But that probably is not fancy enough anymore.

Offline pcprogrammer

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Re: How to get schoolkids to choose to go into Electronics Engineering.
« Reply #15 on: May 19, 2024, 06:49:10 pm »
Electronics is a bad career choice for anyone in the UK to consider, given the woefully poor salaries on offer.
Yeah. Going into electronics is like being a musician. You do it for the joy of it. Not the money.

Somewhat true, but my second job was in the alternative music world where electronics played a big role and it payed a hell of a lot more than working for Phillips.  :-DD

It also got me doing actual electronics, which I liked, instead of typing in some companies phone switching exchange preferences. Was a total misrepresentation of the job offered at Philips. It was sold as working in the development of phone switching exchanges on the low level with lots of growth potential. A data typist was what they actually required.

Offline tggzzz

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Re: How to get schoolkids to choose to go into Electronics Engineering.
« Reply #16 on: May 19, 2024, 06:53:36 pm »
He's the kind of guy that when you ask him what's the time he tells you how to build a clock.

No, he tells you it is a scandal that he can't build an SMPS. Do you agree?
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
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Online PlainName

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Re: How to get schoolkids to choose to go into Electronics Engineering.
« Reply #17 on: May 19, 2024, 07:15:55 pm »
but do any of us remember when we were small kids...and we learned to speak our native tongue without any problem?

WTF?!? Have you seen the average text message or email nowadays? Most of them have learned how to show grunts via emoticons; hardly anyone has an interest in grammar, spelling or composition.

Apart from that, speaking the lingo is simply a matter of parroting stuff you hear, and you can do that without understanding what it really means. But, in electronics, knowing what things are called and which pins you can join up without them smoking is just the basics. You need the mindset that lets you solve problems and be creative in making things. Can you draw life-like portraits? Not many can. Can you play a musical instrument well enough to show off in a theatre? Again, not many can. Why do you think every kid will be able to do electronics?
 
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Offline Sensorcat

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Re: How to get schoolkids to choose to go into Electronics Engineering.
« Reply #18 on: May 19, 2024, 09:11:20 pm »
To get schoolkids into something, you must show them that it's fun. Not in 10 years, right now. A long text without a single image, video, or at least some visual structure only looks like work. Perhaps you have the chance that the first sentence is read. And what do you offer? That the kids are supposed to help in a rather abstract, long-term plan in which others (industry, not even a person) have some sort of need. No, your text won't do the job. Even I did not read it completely, even though I'm not a kid anymore and very interested in an effective answer to your question.
 

Offline SiliconWizard

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Re: How to get schoolkids to choose to go into Electronics Engineering.
« Reply #19 on: May 19, 2024, 09:45:59 pm »
There is more to life than SMPSs

Is there?
 
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Offline tggzzz

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Re: How to get schoolkids to choose to go into Electronics Engineering.
« Reply #20 on: May 19, 2024, 09:51:41 pm »
There is more to life than SMPSs

Is there?

I sure as hell hope so. Long ago I decided they were something like RDBMSs: terminally boring and To Be Avoided.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
Having fun doing more, with less
 

Offline xrunner

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Re: How to get schoolkids to choose to go into Electronics Engineering.
« Reply #21 on: May 19, 2024, 10:07:29 pm »
Do you agree, the following is how to get schoolkids into Electronics Engineering?.....

Dear
Please assist in growing an Electronics Engineering industry that can be used to make the electronics needed to make “stuff” that todays world means we desperately need.

Schoolkids may be interested in ridding places where we live of unwanted insects and animals, perhaps studying ineffective ultrasonic repellers and either improving their designs or making something of a new design that actually works well.
I told my friends I could teach them to be funny, but they all just laughed at me.
 

Online PlainName

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Re: How to get schoolkids to choose to go into Electronics Engineering.
« Reply #22 on: May 19, 2024, 10:31:16 pm »
Quote
perhaps studying ineffective ultrasonic repellers and either improving their designs or making something of a new design that actually works well

Kids, not already into electronics? Not a chance! The way to get them into it is to give them something that works visibly, and show them how it can be modified easily (at first, then progressively harder as they try to do cleverer things).

Something like the Atari 2600 was nearly perfect - reasonably decent games machine so it would be actual use regardless, but had a programming cartridge so you could make your own games. Unfortunately, that was too limited and once you maxed out there was nowhere to go. With something like the ZX81 you could download a biorythms program or similar, and then, because it was plain BASIC, change stuff to see what happened. Once you'd hit the limit of BASIC you could embed machine code in comments and do fancy stuff like altering the display font, and around about then you were hooked for life and looking for a proper computer. But to get to that point you have to be enticed to place a foot on the bottom rung, and being given an A-level puzzle isn't the route to that.
 

Offline xrunner

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Re: How to get schoolkids to choose to go into Electronics Engineering.
« Reply #23 on: May 19, 2024, 10:36:35 pm »
Quote
perhaps studying ineffective ultrasonic repellers and either improving their designs or making something of a new design that actually works well

Kids, not already into electronics? Not a chance! The way to get them into it is to give them something that works visibly, and show them how it can be modified easily (at first, then progressively harder as they try to do cleverer things).

Uh that was a joke derived from another topic he started ...  ::)
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Offline NiHaoMike

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Re: How to get schoolkids to choose to go into Electronics Engineering.
« Reply #24 on: May 19, 2024, 10:43:43 pm »
I would say that there's a great future in power electronics for alternative energy and EVs, as well as digital chip design for AI. But much bigger would be software engineering which is going to be highly involved for those markets and a lot more.
Cryptocurrency has taught me to love math and at the same time be baffled by it.

Cryptocurrency lesson 0: Altcoins and Bitcoin are not the same thing.
 
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