ON Semiconductor Donates Laser Cutter to Enhance STEM Education Programs in Oudenaarde, Belgium

Jul 13, 2021 11:55 AM ET
Blog

ON Semiconductor has been a long-time supporter of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. STEM brings together critical disciplines, creating an inclusive learning environment that encourages all students to participate, collaborate and problem solve. This holistic approach encourages students to exercise both the left and right sides of their brains simultaneously, as they would need to do in a 21st century working environment. We believe that equipping today’s youth with these skills ensures development and retention of a diverse workforce for years to come.

In late 2019, ON Semiconductor provided a grant to Bernardusscholen Oudenaarde, Bernardusbron campus to purchase a laser cutter for their STEM labs. Their STEM program focuses on many goals, such as strengthening the skills of educators, improving the process of study and career choice, ensuring more girls are able to participate in STEM studies/professions, attaining the highest STEM education standards and increasing social valuation of technical professions. 

Thanks to this donation, two of their secondary schools were able to expand their design program and purchase a laser cutter. The integrated and project-based learning environment at Bernardusscholen has advanced to new levels as design holds an important place in new technology curricula.

Students are encouraged to create a 2D drawing from a simple sketch using specialty software. These drawing programs are step-by-step taught throughout the STEM and electro-mechanics courses. The students’ designs are then fed into the laser cutter, where they are cut or engraved into a chosen material. This innovative process limits the need for manual sawing of parts, resulting in increased efficiency.

In addition to the new laser cutter, the schools’ FabLab also houses a 3D printer, PCs, lab power supplies and measuring equipment. The FabLab allows students in their second year of the STEM program to work independently or in groups on experiments and assignments in a workspace that fosters creativity and collaboration. Program educators are looking forward to exploring the endless opportunities this space provides for their students and ON Semiconductor is proud to continue supporting youth educational opportunities in all places we do business globally. 

Learn more about the innovative projects the ON Semiconductor supports around the world.