Crowd Funding for Inspiring Graduate Students to Educate K12 Students about STEM

Taylor, C. and Sitaraman, S. K., “Crowd Funding for Inspiring Graduate Students to Educate K12 Students about STEM,” ASME 2014 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition (IMECE2014), November 2014, Montreal, Canada, IMECE2014-40039.
Often when people who are not in the field hear about electronic packaging, they immediately presume that it is exclusive to electrical engineering; however, electronic packaging has opportunities for many different Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) areas. Many projects in micro- and nanotechnology are interdisciplinary in nature, and thus, a broad background of various disciplines is needed to conduct research and development in these areas. At the Georgia Institute of Technology, an initiative called the Meindl Legacy project has been created to use crowd funding to help graduate students in the nanotechnology area to create “teachable moments.” The intention of the teachable moment is to broaden the research to younger audiences, so that they are inspired to take the necessary background classes needed to pursue a STEM career path. The use of crowd-funding allows for industry partners and the general public to become involved with research that is currently ongoing at the Georgia Institute of Technology and to educate K-12 students. The “teachable moment” outlined in this paper was created to demonstrate how different materials’ coefficients of thermal expansion can affect the interfaces and potentially lead to cracking damage in an electronic package.
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