SARATOGA SPRINGS – On Tuesday, Aug. 22 and Wednesday, Aug. 23, educators from across the Capital District gathered for a two-day program and became students again to participate in hands-on activities and curriculum lessons focused on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S.T.E.M.).
The event, SEMI Foundation’s High Tech U, is in its tenth year in conjunction with New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) and was held at the union’s headquarters in Latham. The curriculum for this event is designed for local classrooms in the new school year.
Since the inception of the event, more than 600 New York State educators have partaken and nearly 40 teachers did this week alone. A reception to celebrate the tenth year took place Wednesday at NYSUT. There were industry instructors from Applied Materials, KLA-Tencor and Global Foundries, all of whom were supporters of the program this year.
“This has been an incredibly fruitful partnership,” NYSUT President Andrew Pallotta said.
The goal of the event was to educate the educators.
“Teachers never stop learning and NYSUT is proud to offer this well-regarded, proven professional development opportunity to so many of our members,” Pallotta continued.
New York State United Teachers is a statewide union that was formed in 1960 and now has over 600,000 members.
The SEMI Foundation has been around since 2001 and their mission is, “a commitment to helping high school students gain a better understanding of how Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics are used to solve ‘real world problems,’” according to the organization’s website.
Since its inception, SEMI Foundation has reached over 6,900 students in 12 states and nine countries.
SEMI High Tech U’s program features workshops that are activity-based and taught by tech professionals. The activities include lighting up the room with an experiment facilitated by an engineer; making your own wafer with a manufacturing engineer; launching hacky sacks with quality engineers to see the importance of statistics; becoming a human calculator; and flexing your teamwork skills to solve a real-world problem, among other diverse S.T.E.M. activities.