Dear Colleagues and Friends,
Last Friday, October 13, we were able to welcome two San Jose engineering classes from Evergreen Valley High School to learn about hybrid electronics and to talk with our engineers about education pathways that lead to challenging careers in manufacturing. San Jose City Councilmember Peter Ortiz opened the proceedings with an inspiring speech about how he attended school in the same area as Evergreen Valley High School and was amazed when he was introduced to Silicon Valley, only a few minutes from East San Jose geographically but a world away in terms of technological opportunities. He spoke about how he was thrilled to be able to introduce a whole new generation to the amazing career opportunities and financial possibilities that the manufacturing sector has to offer. He ended by telling the students that he is there to support them and that they could contact him with questions or concerns.
After the opening remarks, students toured the Technology Hub and were able to get hands-on at the demonstrator tables where they were challenged to think about new applications for flexible and hybrid electronics devices. Students loved learning about the technologies and were extremely excited to receive a mechanical sample of our NextFlex Flexible Microcontroller that powers many of our devices.
Another highlight of the visit was that students were able to participate in a panel discussion with NextFlex engineers who answered questions about what education pathways they chose, how they like working with hybrid electronics, and what challenges they’ve had to overcome.
Concluding the visit, I had the distinct honor of sharing my story with the students. I assured them that their journey is just about to begin and that they shouldn’t worry too much about making perfect choices about their future. Because no one knows what the future might hold, the best thing they can do to prepare is to be open to new possibilities and to try the things that interest them. During a brief Q&A, one student with autism said, “It’s hard for me to talk in public and it’s very hard to relay my words to others, but I can definitely see myself in this career path in the future.” He concluded his comments by letting us all know that he is a genius. It’s that kind of confidence and the right opportunity that can pave the way for a career in advanced manufacturing!
As always, it was such an enjoyable experience to be able to watch these students learn about hybrid electronics and see their excitement about the technological possibilities that the future holds. We look forward to hosting many more students in the future.
Malcolm J. Thompson, Ph.D.
NextFlex Executive Director