Establishing an MPG Program

Welcome to the MPG program – you’re going to love being a part of this! Running MPG consists of six main components:

  1. Sign-up
  2. Resource Acquisition
  3. Preparation
  4. Recruitment
  5. Execution
  6. Feedback

Sign-up

Please take the time to do the following:

The MPG community would certainly appreciate introductions on our forum and Facebook wall letting us know about yourself, your company and your interests in MPG.

Engenuics will help connect you with student groups and/or faculty at the school to help find students interested in being a part of MPG.

Resources

Getting start-up resources determines the type of MPG program that will be run. The necessary resources are:

  • Demonstration hardware – an MPG “Starter Kit” can be ordered that has several demo boards that can be used to work through the material and provide demos for students.
  • Workspace – Typically a university classroom, meeting room, or lab with weekly access periods of 1.5 hours minimum.
  • Workstations – Windows PCs are required for MPG software. Students may also work on their own laptops.
  • Development hardware – Hands-on experience is the essence of MPG and most students will be excited to own their own hardware. Organizations could also provide hardware for students to borrow.

Soldering hardware is important for MPG, though it is logistically the most difficult part of the program to offer so it is optional. Acquiring soldering resources can be done a number of ways:

  • Contact your department – The university may already have soldering facilities that can be borrowed for MPG. Be sure to obtain approval for any soldering activities and follow our safety recommendations.
  • Contact IEEE – If MPG is run through the local IEEE student branch, they may already have resources or you can access funding through and S-PAV/S-PAC, McNaughton Centre grant, or funding from the local section.
  • Communicate with other student groups – they may already have some resources you need and be willing to share.
  • Students buy their own soldering equipment – a good quality soldering iron is an essential tool for an engineer, and some students may already be looking to get their own. Hakko supports the MPG program by offering educational pricing through Engenuics on their soldering stations.
  • Industry Sponsors – MPG has great benefit to local industry, so companies may want to support the program through Sponsorship. Where possible, urge students to take the lead on contacting possible supporters as it is a valuable learning experience. A template sponsorship request can be found here, or companies can support MPG directly at this link: MPG Sponsor Levels
  • Preparation

    At some point, your demonstration hardware should arrive and its time to prepare for the first week of MPG. You should have some idea what resources you have access to at this point and can make some decisions about how MPG will run for this term. Yourself and the student leaders should all:

    Recruitment

    Before doing anything determine when and where the info session will be. Once the info session is planned the following are great for spreading the word and feel free to try other methods as well.

    • Classroom announcements – Engenuics recommends following the classroom announcement script for this but the specifics are up to you. It is essential to give a few days notice to the professors to get permission to take a few minutes of time out of their lectures.
    • Poster – a template post for you info session can be found here. Feel free to modify or make your own.
    • Flyers – Template flyers can be found here, or make your own.
    • Online posts – check in with engineering and computer science student groups to see if you can post about MPG on their Facebook page, Twitter, website, etc. The faculty, Co-op office or other staff contacts may be willing to send out a mass email.
    • Chalkboards – throw up a quick note with “MPG”, the time and date of the first meeting and a brief sentence describing what the group is about on the side of chalkboards in classrooms. Tip: Write PLO (please leave on) at the top of your message so it is less likely to get erased.
    • Talk to people – be sure to check with the university to ensure promoting MPG on campus is acceptable.

    Execution

    Make an effort to follow the schedule. Here are a few reminders of important steps to take during the info session and first weeks of the MPG:

    • Go through the info session script.
    • Collect student info.
    • Finalize the decision on running the soldering sections of MPG.
    • Take hardware orders/ setup the MPG shop.
    • Finalize your schedule (or as close to it as possible) and post it for students to access.
    • Remember to prep the weekly meeting before presenting (MPG Level 1 or MPG Level 2).

    Feedback

    We hope you enjoy MPG. We will definitely do everything we can to help your program run smoothly. To help ensure MPG can continue to improve and grow we greatly appreciate the following.

    • Pictures – Hard workers and happy faces are helpful for us to promote MPG to other sponsors and encourage other schools to participate. A group photo on the day the hardware arrives is a minimum but take as many as you like.
    • Students and instructors should share their thoughts, stories, questions, outrage and anything else on our forum or Facebook wall. The more we know about the program the more we can improve it.
    • Spread the word – If you enjoy MPG please let others know about it.
    • Complete the Remote Deliverables.