So you are looking at starting an MPG program at your school? Congratulations! MPG is easy to set up and can be run at no cost. To get started, please do these quick and essential sign-up steps to let us know you’re interested. When you do, you’ll get an exclusive discount code to unlock special pricing on MPG hardware.
- Fill out our MPG startup form
- Make an Engenuics account
- Subscribe and follow us on social media. We would also appreciate introductory posts on our forum and/or Facebook wall. Let everyone know who you are and your interests in MPG.
Awesome, that was easy! The rest of the setup process consists of five parts:
- A leader: you or someone else with 2-3 hours per week
- Students who want to sign up for your MPG program
- Workspace: a classroom or lab or somewhere you can gather your people once a week
- Computers to work on: either school lab computers or personal laptops
- MPG hardware
- Optional: mentors or volunteers to help out
- Optional: soldering stations and consumables (flux, wick, solder, flux remover, etc)
It won’t take very much work upfront to secure the resources you need to run MPG for the semester. Here are some tips:
- Classroom or lab – work with the contacts mentioned below to secure the same room every week at the same time. Procedures vary between schools, but the department and existing student groups should be able to help.
- MPG Specific – hardware can be acquired from Engenuics either by filling out an order form after people have signed up for MPG or by setting up an MPG hardware store on campus. Contact us if you are interested in managing board sales to help fund your MPG program.
- Alternatively, you can simply order all of your hardware online. We recommend starting with one of the great promotional start-up package:
- MPG Starter Package Basic
- MPG Starter Package Dot Matrix
- If you’re also interested in doing the hardware building part of MPG, you might want to pick up a Soldering iron package
In order to run a formal student group you need to contact certain people on campus. Start with these people first and inquire about others you need to talk to along the way:
- The department head for your faculty. They should be informed about your intention to start this program. They may even help you acquire the resources you need! Plus it never hurts to get to know your faculty.
- IEEE student branch at your school. This is usually an excellent source for resources, especially mentors, hardware and possibly room booking.
- Engineering/Undergraduate student society. Student-run groups often have to be registered through a student society, so you will have to look into this. The easiest way to go about running MPG would probably be to try to offer it through an existing club, e.g. IEEE, your student society, or other engineering/computer science clubs.
- Local industries who may be interested in supporting the program are also good to engage.
When contacting these persons let them know briefly what mpg is and what resources you are looking for. It will probably be worth mentioning how MPG can benefit the school and students as well.
By this point your hardware should have arrived, so spend some time going through the following documents to learn more about the logistics of running MPG.
- Book a “train-the-trainer” session
- Learn the advertising scripts
- Determine your basic schedule: MPG Level 1 or MPG Level 2
There is no wrong way to spread the word and with the help of a couple people it becomes a lot less work – it can even be fun! Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Classroom announcements – plan to go to a few classes, so you hit a variety of years and disciplines, and pitch MPG. Make sure to check in with the professor ahead of time or a few minutes before class to get permission to take time away from the lecture. For ideas on what to say about MPG, check out the advertising scripts above.
- Flyers – post them around campus, but check in with the student society that oversees the building you want to put them up in (if applicable at your school). You will likely need permission, but it should just require a quick conversation!
- 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 even be willing to send out a mass email for you.
- 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 – word of mouth still travels fast, so talk to as many people as you can about MPG. It can even be a good icebreaker if you want to meet more people in your classes!
The goal of advertising will be to get people to come to an introductory meeting(s) to describe, in detail, what MPG is, what the benefits are and the general plan of how the program will be run. For more information about running the introductory meeting check out MPG Info Session. We also have a Powerpoint presentation you’re welcome to use!
Now you just have a few more details to iron out and then it’s smooth sailing.
The most important aspect of running MPG is having at least one person who is committed to learning the material every week and then relaying that to the group. You may want to consider forming a small group of people who are willing to take turns learning and teaching in order to share the workload. Even if you do not have a group of people you should only expect about an hour of prep time each week.
Prior to the first official MPG meeting (after the info session), the lab computers you’re using or student’s laptops will need to be set up with MPG software. Download and install IAR Kickstart v6.30 and the MPG tools software pack. If you are working off of laptops it may be worth dedicating some time to walk the group through the software they need and make sure no one falls behind right off the bat.
All that is left now is to follow the plans and learn the curriculum. The outlined schedule can also be modified if you would like to structure the class differently.
- Complete the Remote Deliverables.
- Take lots of pictures and share them.
- Spread the word
- Encourage students and instructors to share their thoughts, stories, questions, criticisms and anything else on our forum or Facebook wall.
We are excited to have you on board. Happy MPG-ing!