August 14, 2009

Photos: NYSUT teams with industry on Tech Valley workforce development

Source: NYSUT Media Relations

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Scenes from the SEMI High Tech U professional development program for educators at NYSUT Headquarters in Latham, Aug. 17-18. Photos by Steve Jacobs.

Media Release

ALBANY N.Y. August 14, 2009 - With exciting Tech Valley developments in mind, like the recently announced $4.2B GlobalFoundries manufacturing facility, area teachers are gearing up to help students get ready to be part of the hightech workforce of the future.

Beginning Monday, 45 educators from local schools will be attending SEMI High Tech U Teacher Edition, an industry-driven math-and science-based career exploration program for middle-level and high school educators, administered and presented by the non-profit SEMI Foundation. Sponsors of the program, to be held Aug. 17-18, are principal sponsor New York State United Teachers (NYSUT), and co-sponsors The Pitney Bowes Foundation, SuperPower and HSBC Bank USA, N.A.

A number of local school districts - including Argyle, Broadalbin-Perth, Fort Ann, Hadley-Luzerne, Hoosic Valley, North Warren, Queensbury, Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk, Sharon Springs, Shenendehowa, Voorheesville and Watervliet - are participating. Teachers and school counselors were invited by their districts and attend the program at no cost to them or their school districts. Sessions will be hosted by NYSUT and SuperPower.

SEMI High Tech U is a unique program that is changing the way the semiconductor industry tackles the challenges of preparing middle-level and high school students for tomorrow's workforce. The program provides practical, working knowledge of the semiconductor, nanotechnology and renewable energy industry-based on industry tours and hands-on experiments. It also provides practical applications of math, science and technology for classroom instruction and curriculum development. Volunteer industry professionals teach the sessions.

"Last year's program was such an overwhelming success that we are pleased to once again offer this industry-quality math and science-based career exploration program for middle-level and high school teachers," says NYSUT Vice President Maria Neira. "Our 'Tech Valley' region continues to grow as an international center by pursuing and promoting nanotechnology investment and other high-tech industries. This is another opportunity to prepare our students and to provide for a well-educated, globally competitive workforce that industry will need to thrive in the region."

"It really does 'take a village' to motivate kids to take the courses necessary to enter the high-tech workforce," says Lisa Anderson, SEMI Foundation vice president. "Our partnership with NYSUT and the other local sponsors that have provided volunteer teaching time and financial support is a model for the nation." Anderson notes that the new GlobalFoundries plant is just one example of the near-and long-term potential for local high-tech careers. "The company's Fab 2 facility is expected to create approximately 1,400 new direct jobs and more than 5,000 indirect jobs in the region, and it is our goal that someday local students who've attended SEMI High Tech U will be part of this workforce."

SEMI High Tech U and SEMI High Tech U Teacher Edition were created by San Jose, Calif.-based industry association SEMI as a way of getting more students interested in science, math and high-tech careers. Since 2001, 89 programs have been delivered to 2,378 students and 476 teachers in the US, Austria, France, Japan and Singapore.


Monday, Aug. 17 - All Monday activities at NYSUT Albert Shanker Conference Center, 800 Troy-Schenectady Road, Latham

10:50-noon: Electronic Peg Board - Participants work in teams with diodes, transistors and capacitors on a specially designed circuit board to learn how we store and transmit energy.

1-2 pm: Hacky Sack Catapult - The air is filled with hacky sacks as participants learn how medieval technology relates to modern-day chip-making in a math and statistics exercise called "Statapult." The module integrates numerous skills including interpretation of graphs and charts, estimation, process and quality control.

2:35-3:45 pm: Human Calculator - Using a "feet on" exercise, like the game "Twister," participants try not to get tangled up as they simulate electron flow in a microprocessor.

4-5:30 pm: Solar Cell Activity - Highlighting jobs and products specific to Tech Valley, this hands-on activity illustrates the unique relationship between the high-tech industry and the manufacture of solar cells as an important energy source.

Tuesday, Aug. 18 - Classes held at NYSUT Albert Shanker Conference Center, 800 Troy-Schenectady Road, Latham - with a break for a tour of SuperPower, 450 Duane Ave, Schenectady

10:30-noon: Tour of the SuperPower facility - Teachers get a behind-the-scenes tour of the SuperPower facility where superconductors, an enabling technology for renewable energy sources, are highlighted.

About the sponsors

NYSUT represents more than 600,000 teachers, school-related professionals, academic and professional faculty in higher education, professionals in education and health care and retirees. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.

The Pitney Bowes Foundation is a private entity with a mission to provide funding to literacy, education and employee involvement initiatives. For information about these programs, go to General information about Pitney Bowes is available at

SuperPower was formed in March 2000 to develop and commercialize high-temperature superconductor (HTS) technology, and is a world leader in second-generation (2G) HTS wire and related subsystems. The application of superconductivity, a green technology, in fields ranging from energy and alternative energy to medical technology, general industry, transportation, military and scientific research is providing enormous benefits over conventional, copper-based solutions.

HSBC Bank USA, N.A. has more than 460 bank branches throughout the United States, with about 380 in New York state.

The SEMI Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization founded in 2001 to support education and career awareness in the fields of high technology through scholarships and the career exploration programs SEMI High Tech U for high school students, and SEMI High Tech U Teacher Edition. Since 2001, 89 programs have been delivered to 2,378 students and 476 teachers in the U.S., Austria, France, Japan and Singapore.



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