ON Semiconductor Sponsors the University of Idaho's Virtual Engineering Design EXPO

Written By: Cassandra Savel, CSR Intern
Jul 8, 2020 3:30 PM ET

As we all have experienced within these past few months, the year 2020 has been one of uncertainty and change. Despite the challenges facing business and society, ON Semiconductor has steadfastly continued in its commitment to corporate social responsibility and giving back to communities through grant making. We at ON Semiconductor also know that these challenges bring opportunities to re-envision traditions and innovate new solutions. With this in mind, we were excited to witness this mindset in action through our Global Giving Program grantee, the University of Idaho College of Engineering. In 2019, our team awarded a grant to support the College’s Engineering Design EXPO, a long-standing event that works to engage a wide array of young learners by showcasing top-tier projects developed by university engineering students. 

The University of Idaho is a national research university that shapes the future through student-centered learning, innovative thinking and community engagement. For 27 years, the College of Engineering has hosted the annual Engineering Design EXPO, which stands as the longest running student engineering and technological innovation showcase in the Pacific Northwest. Although the event has traditionally taken place on their campus in Moscow, Idaho, the EXPO went virtual this year in response to the current health crisis. New ways of engagement and interaction were thus put into action to continue this tradition and advance STEAM education in the community. 

The EXPO is the culminating event for senior engineering students who have spent the year working alongside teammates to develop projects for the Senior Capstone Design Program. This program provides engineering students an exciting chance to collaborate with industry partners and solve real world design problems through hands-on projects. As a way to engage the community and incite young people’s interest in engineering, the resulting collection of prototypes, proposals and innovative ideas are displayed for exhibition to a diverse audience of K-12th grade students, alumni and community college students. Judges are also an important part of the event, and around 60 volunteer judges adapted to the virtual venue this year by utilizing an online scoring system to judge projects as well as remote technical presentations. 

This year, over 14,030 Web visitors from three different countries participated online to view the exhibition of engineering projects, where an array of interesting topics ranging from an algae harvester and dehydrator to a speech therapy Web app promised to intrigue every type of learner. In addition to the project exhibition, K-12 students participated in the virtual Extended Experience by following hands-on activities and engaging in virtual campus tours of the University of Idaho. Overall, the EXPO hoped to inspire young learners to explore their interest in engineering and see firsthand what a hands-on engineering education can look like in a university setting. 

ON Semiconductor stands by the University of Idaho’s commitment to advancing STEAM education and inspiring young learners to develop solutions to the world’s technological and engineering challenges. We were happy to support this 2019 grantee who worked to overcome this year’s challenges to re-envision this wonderful event for an even wider virtual reach of learners across the United States and globe. 

Visit https://www.uidaho.edu/engr/events/expo for further information about the University of Idaho’s annual Engineering Design EXPO event and access to the full 2020 EXPO program.

Read more about how ON Semiconductor is committed to serving the communities in which we do business by visiting ON Semiconductor Foundation