by Brooke Burton, 11th grade
So far, year three of Northwest Rankin’s Engineering Academy has been relatively smooth. The class is fun yet educational, as it usually is. Things were all calm and quiet this year until the topic of soldering came up. For those who don’t know, soldering is the process of joining two metal pieces together with a soft molten metal which known as solder. This process is done through the use of a soldering iron which can get very hot.
At first, I was very intimidated by the equipment. Actually, I was scared to death to be honest. Due to my own clumsiness, I was really scared that I was going to injure myself or someone else with the hot iron. After all, it seemed a little crazy to trust teenagers with equipment that can literally melt metal within seconds.
Feeling nervous, I had Ms. Gilbreath guide me through the beginning steps of soldering components to the board. I had my components in place and Ms. Gilbreath told me what to do. Under her instruction, I carefully brought the iron close to the component, guided the solder towards the iron, and quickly pulled them away after the metal melted. I sat there astounded. A process that I was so afraid of was over in less than two seconds.
After that, I began soldering with no problem. It wasn’t scary anymore! In fact, it was kind of fun. Soldering components to a board became like putting pieces of a puzzle together. The only difference being that if you messed around with the pieces, you could get burned.
From this activity, I found that a scary looking thing isn’t always what it seems to be. In fact, scary looking things can turn out to be quite fun. The fact that soldering is a skill that I can do now is amazing. I can honestly say that the Engineering Academy courses have taught me more than any other high school classes that I have taken, and I am proud of the many skills that I have learned.