“JOM” Day at Valtronic – Kids discovering the world of microelectronic assembly

Every second Thursday in November, parents in the Swiss Canton of Vaud take their children aged from 11 to 13 to work for the JOM Day (Journée Oser tous les Métiers) – daughters with their father and sons with their mother. The goal is to discover all professions within a company or organization in order to encourage children to think beyond the stereotype of feminine and masculine occupations.
At Valtronic, our young guests are offered a complete tour of a microelectronics company. Manual assembly, SMT lines, clean room, mechatronic assembly, and test tooling along with interesting demonstrations allow them to learn about all the steps leading to the production of an electronic medical device. The wearing of the appropriate overall in the assembly and clean room areas is certainly a high moment in the day. Besides the funny side of dressing up, this step also teaches them the rules and constraints linked to specific production areas.

Creative brainstorming session to bud interest in an engineering career

The program ends with a brainstorming session with confirmed engineers. These young people are indeed asked to imagine a device they think should be created. No need to say that they are bursting with imagination and need some guidance on how to select an idea and list all the steps leading to its realization.

JOM Day at Valtronic

Valtronic engineers and children during a brainstorming session on Innovation during the JOM Day

From left to right: Julien, Chloé, Coralie, Florian and Randy

Smart glasses allowing to look through a wall

This year, our budding engineers were Coralie, Chloé, and Randy. After concertation, they decided they wanted to invent smart glasses. Ideas and imagination are great assets that Valtronic is encouraging as they are driving innovation. Florian and Julien, two engineers of Valtronic’s R&D team led the kids through a process of reflection to teach them how to assess the feasibility of an idea and all the steps necessary for its realization. First step was to decide about the use the glasses should have. Our kids thought it might be great to have glasses allowing to look through a wall in order to spot possible victims like for example unconscious people enclosed in their house . All right, but then how? Destroying the wall was a possibility, but then judged dangerous and counterproductive. Infrared or ultrasounds could fill the intended purpose but what part of the glasses could possibly be equipped? Encouraged to draw a 2D view of the glasses, the kids then opted for integrating a sound system in the glasses’ frame.

Not sure these glasses will ever be marketed, but the purpose of this exercise was to initiate a thought process and may be raise interest for an engineering career. As Albert Einstein once stated: Imagination is the highest form of research. Imagination and creativity definitely need to be encouraged as they lead to great breakthroughs.