SEMI Foundation Helps Prepare Teachers to Advise Students


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SEMI Foundation Helps Prepare Teachers to Advise Students— in Austria, Singapore, U.S.

The twin challenges of exciting high school students about math and science, and improving their proficiency in these subjects, continue to be important concerns for countries everywhere. Our industry depends on students entering colleges and universities motivated to pursue high tech careers and prepared to meet the course requirements for the engineering and science degrees essential to ensure continued innovation.

It continues to be clear that — while well-prepared teachers are critical to the solution — industry must partner with educational systems to help achieve desired levels of teaching proficiency. In 2001, the Business-Higher Education Forum issued its report, Sharing Responsibility: How Leaders in Business and Higher Education Can Improve America’s Schools which stated, “The extraordinary challenge of helping all children learn at high levels demands an increased share of responsibility by business, higher education, and others outside the public school system.” The Business-Higher Education Forum is a partnership of the American Council on Education and the National Alliance of Business.

To address this need, the SEMI Foundation created SEMI High Tech U Teacher Edition, an industry-driven math and science-based career exploration program that introduces middle-level and high school educators to the science of making semiconductors. In addition, the program emphasizes ways teachers can implement Teacher Edition activities in their classes that meet curriculum requirements established by states and other governing bodies. A primary objective of the program is to help teachers learn about math- and science-based careers in high tech fields so they can advise their students about educational options and career pathways.

Over the past seven years, the Foundation has delivered 17 Teacher Edition programs to 474 educators in Austria, Singapore, and the US. “Workforce development really begins early in the education process, and is most successful when partnerships are formed between the education community and industry,” affirms Lisa Anderson, vice president, SEMI Foundation. “The response from participating teachers and their school districts has been overwhelmingly positive.”

SEMI High Tech U Teacher Edition in Action.

The following is a sample of completed High Tech U Teacher Edition programs:

  • Austria. On April 2008, teachers from all over Austria participated in a Teacher Edition program sponsored by Infineon and Lam Research. Education partners were Kärnten technical high school and Innovations in Mathematics, Science and Technology Teaching (IMST), an Austrian project to improve science teaching and education. This was the first SEMI High Tech U Teacher Edition in Austria and the first German language program presentation.
  • Singapore. In 2006, the Foundation presented the first Teacher Edition program outside the U.S. Twenty-six secondary school teachers from Christ Church, Fuchun Secondary and Woodgrove Secondary participated. "This program is an excellent example of the semiconductor industry partnering with the education system and government to prepare our young people for the future,” said P.W. Yen, vice president of UMC Singapore. “High Tech U helps secondary school students and their teachers see the potential of careers in high tech.” (Partners: Air Products, Allegro EMS, Applied Materials, Hermes-Epitek, Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), and UMC Singapore.)
  • Albany, New York. In July 2008, New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) cosponsored a Teacher Edition program attended by 60 educators from nine school districts. This was the first time the SEMI Foundation partnered with a statewide educator organization. “SEMI High Tech U Teacher Edition is an exciting opportunity for NYSUT to sponsor industry-education partnerships,” said Maria Neira, Vice President, NYSUT. “We need to increase student interest in science, math and engineering and at the same time, motivate and excite students to pursue high tech careers.” (Cosponsors: Air Products Foundation, GE, and the Workforce Consortium for Emerging Technologies, and a coalition of Capital Region educators, government agencies and industry partners.)
  • Austin, Texas. Also in July 2008, the Foundation partnered with Skillpoint Alliance to introduce 40 middle and high school teachers from Texas to the science and career opportunities of high tech industries Katie Kizziar of Skillpoint Alliance said, “Classroom content suddenly takes on a new dimension of relevancy when teachers can see how the concepts are used in business and industry settings." The program was held in conjunction with the SAME-TEC Advanced Technological Education Conference. . (Skillpoint Alliance is a nonprofit organization that builds partnerships among industry, education and the community, leading to college and career success for Central Texans, while meeting employers’ needs for a qualified workforce.)

For more information, or to become a sponsor of SEMI High Tech U programs, please visit www.semi.org/foundation.