When I was in High School, we were lucky enough to have the ability to take two years of Electronics as electives. I think they have some sort of robotics program or something now, but back in the day it was pretty basic. You learned the basic skills like soldering, etching circuit boards and learning how to use a multimeter and oscilloscope. Often times we received donated equipment and components from local high-tech firms like Measurex, HP and Apple. Beyond that, there were several life lessons that were not intended.
I learned several key things from my classmates that still ring true today:
- Shorting a line cord does not always blow the breaker. Non-functioning breaker = BAD.
- If you fabricate an enclosure out of sheet metal and the circuit board runs on 110VAC, there is a reason to use nylon spacers between the base of the board and your case. (Or you receive a quick lesson in impromtu arc welding)
- It is not a good idea to discharge a 1/4 farad capacitor using human skin as a conductor.
- Use as much safety equipment as you can, because often times the safety interlocks become broken or are disabled over the years. (You know about this one Jerry)
- As long as the paralysis doesn't last more than one period, everything is cool.
- Sometimes teachers just don't want to remember how to pronounce your name, because it causes them endless amusement.