Recently, I was given the opportunity to host a surface mount soldering workshop for other electrical engineering students looking to learn. After being approached by my universities IEEE president about the idea, I was more than ready to take on the challenge.
I geared the workshop towards providing a total hands-on experience. Here they would be able to take a few boards, in conjunction with the parts, and not only hand solder them to build up confidence with the iron, but to also use a hot-air soldering station.
To make the workshop as cheap as possible, all of the parts, circuit, and materials needed to be assembled. I was able to create a quick Dual Flasher Board via Eagle, and get it manufactured via SeedStudio. All of the parts were cataloged via the DesignLink option in Eagle and ordered via Newark, but the stencils needed to be sent to OshStencils to be created. Everything was assembled into zip-lock bags for any attending student. To give an insight as to how everything was pieced together for the workshop, a small document containing the bill of materials, PCB layout, and circuit schematic/simulations was distributed.
Around 15 students attended the workshop with experience ranging from novice to intermediate. After a quick safety lecture on my end, I directed them to the pre-assembled kits, and let them get to work. Some struggled at first, but after working one-on-one with students, I was able to help develop some basics. These basics carried them through the rest of the workshop, and by the end, around 95% of students were able to witness a functioning circuit.
I am extremely happy about how the workshop went, and am happy that I was able to be apart of it!