The @MATEC Archives

Volume 1, Number 2 Engineering Prep Program at Hillsboro, Oregon
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Increasing the number of high school graduates that possess the intellectual capital to enter advanced technological programs is no easy task. Effective models for high school programs are needed, especially in light of the current national focus on school-to-work transitions. One model that is attracting national attention is the Hillsboro (OR) School District’s "Engineering Prep" program. The primary goal of the Engineering Prep program is to give high school students a broad exposure to the field of engineering and engineering technology so that they might be better equipped to make choices regarding their future education and careers. This is accomplished through an academically rigorous, yearlong curriculum, guest speakers, field trips to industry sites and a six-week internship.

The curriculum covers the entire academic year and is divided into two semesters. Students earn two high school science units when successfully completing the curriculum. Furthermore, two college courses are embedded into the curriculum: MT 110 Introduction to Microelectronics (3 quarter credits) and EET 111 Electronic Circuits & Devices I (4 credits). This provides the added opportunity to earn seven college credits upon successful completion of the college portion of the program.

The curriculum matrix for part of the first semester is shown in the table below. The first column lists the sequence of some of the topics covered in the MT 110 Introduction to Microelectronics college course. Students trace the processing of silicon from its native state to a finished integrated circuit. The second and third column lists supporting topics and laboratory activities from chemistry, physics and mathematics that support the material being presented in MT 110. The guest speakers and field trips listed in the last two columns provides a view of the world of work to help them select a field of engineering or engineering technology that they might like to pursue as a career.

Forty students participated in the Engineering Prep program during its inaugural year (1995-96). Thirty-five completed the entire year. Almost all students went on to four-year engineering programs. Forty-six students enrolled in the Engineering Prep programs for the 1996-97 academic year. Thirty-eight are currently enrolled in the second semester of the program. One of the critical success factors for the students is their choice of chemistry following the first year course in biology. Math beyond that needed for graduation requirements significantly helps in their preparation.


Curriculum Matrix for the First Semester of the Engineering Prep Program



MT 110

(Portland CC Course)

Engineering Prep

Laboratory Activities

Guest Speaker

Industry Site Visit


History of Semiconductors Chemistry Review Team Building Activities None None


Semiconductor Materials Chemical Bonding Chemical Model Lab Wacker Siltronics None


Crystal Growth/ Wafer Prep Crystal Growth Chemical Model Lab Intel Corporation Wacker Siltronics


Overview of IC Processing Logic Gates Logic Gates Lab Chemical Engineer Intel Corporation


Mid-Term #1 Logic Gates Logic Gates Lab OHKA None


Oxidation Silk Screen Project Silk Screen Project Merix OHKA


Photolithography Silk Screen Project Silk Screen Project Silk Screen Consultant Merix


Etch Silk Screen Project Silk Screen Project None None


Mask Design End of Quarter End of Quarter Northwest Natural Gas None


Mid-Term Exam #2 Parent Conferences Vernier Software Demonstration None Northwest Natural Gas


For additional information about this program contact:

John Stotka
2465 S E Clover Court
Hillsboro, OR 97123
(503) 614 - 2931