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Student Success Story

Submitted By: Santa Barbara County ROP/CTE

Alex Wolff

Student Background

Alex Wolff, Dos Pueblos High School Class of 2009, credits his Santa Barbara County ROP/CTE Electronics Technology course with launching his career.

Prior to taking this practical course in electricity and electronics, Alex was undecided about a college major. He praised the ROP/CTE Program for changing that. “The program fueled my desire to learn more about the subject, and ended up being the deciding factor when choosing a college and major,” praises Alex.

Program Description

During his time in the ROP/CTE Electronics Technology, Alex enjoyed working with electrical circuits. The class always jumps right into this invaluable lab work at the very start of the course. Assembling his first circuit board was his favorite moment in Electronics Technology. “After learning how to solder and the basics of electrical theory, we were given kits to build circuit boards that functioned as 'Jeopardy' games,” explains Alex.

“Being able to successfully build a semi-complex circuit and knowing fundamentally how it operated was a very exciting moment.” La Cumbre Junior High then adopted this very game-show technology. Young Alex was on hand, along with all the press, the day it was launched.

Alex points out that the hands-on experience of the ROP/CTE course is a way to apply theory to real-world situations. "The course emphasized basic design and application of electrical circuits, which could be applied to a number of professions, from electrical technicians to engineers, and everywhere in between."

So could he have done the same thing in, say, a traditional Physics course? For Alex the real-life approach to learning was key. Alex feels that student involvement encourages the learning process more than theory and lectures alone.

Outcomes

Choosing a major and getting a strong head start in college is not the end of Alex’s journey. “It gave me a great introduction to the field, and encouraged me to become an electrical engineer. I have since graduated with a degree in electrical engineering and have a job as a Printed Circuit Assembly Engineer at Hewlett-Packard."

What are Alex’s final words of advice to young people who enjoy the world of physics, engineering and technology? “Because Electronics Technology is a very hands-on, project-oriented course, students can go at their own pace. In light of this, the more effort you put into the class, the more you get out of it. Although the material can be difficult to understand, the rewards from learning and applying it are well worth the effort.”

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