August 19, 2010

NYSUT and Tech Valley join forces to enhance 'High-Tech' instruction

Source: NYSUT Media Relations

ALBANY, N.Y. August 19, 2010 - New York State United Teachers will team with Tech Valley companies and local higher-education institutions to host a two-day conference to help middle- and high-school teachers better prepare students for high-tech careers.
Starting Monday, dozens of teachers from across the Capital Region will participate in the SEMI High Tech U Teacher Edition, a math- and science-based career exploration program led by industry professionals in emerging technologies such as microelectronics and nanotechnology. The event will be held at NYSUT headquarters, 800 Troy-Schenectady Road in Latham.

"NYSUT has long recognized the importance of preparing students to meet the demands of today's high-tech work force and we are proud to once again host this important professional development program from which teachers and students will significantly benefit," said NYSUT Vice President Maria Neira.

This marks the third consecutive year NYSUT is co-sponsoring the SEMI HTU program, which is changing the way educators and the semiconductor industry are preparing students for the 21st century workplace. Work force projections by the U.S. Department of Labor show that, within four years, 15 of the 20 fastest growing occupations will require significant training in science, technology, engineering and mathematics - commonly referred to as the STEM fields.

"It is important not only to increase students' interest in STEM fields, but also encourage our young people to pursue careers in the emerging technologies, which are critical to New York state's economic revitalization," Neira said. "Through this SEMI HTU program, we are helping our schools produce a well-educated work force, which is essential in maintaining the region's position as a leader in the nanotech and semiconductor industries."

Through hands-on experiments and exercises, SEMI HTU offers a working knowledge of the semiconductor, nanotechnology and renewable energy industries. It also provides practical STEM applications for classroom instruction and curriculum development.

SEMI Foundation Vice President Lisa Anderson said the program at NYSUT "gives teachers the tools and information they need to inform and guide students about high-tech careers in the region and the world. It also provides examples that support the relevancy of high school math and science to real world applications."

The SEMI HTU program is offered at no cost to participants or their schools.

This year's participating school districts include Saratoga Springs, Ballston Spa, Canajoharie, Amsterdam, Schalmont, Sharon Springs and Questar III BOCES. The program is administered through the SEMI Foundation and underwritten by NYSUT. Co-sponsors with NYSUT include TEC-SMART, GlobalFoundries, Applied Materials, Tokyo Electron, M+W Group, the Workforce Consortium for Emerging Technologies, SUNY Albany College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, ASML, and Evident Technologies.


(Unless noted, all activities take place at NYSUT Headquarters, 800 Troy-Schenectady Road, Latham.)

Monday, Aug. 23

1 p.m. - 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 exercise uses numerous skills, including interpretation of graphs and charts, estimation, and process and quality control.

3:30 p.m. -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.

Tuesday, Aug. 24

8:10 a.m. - How small is small? Participants learn about nanotechnology and how it can be related to daily life.

10:15 a.m. - Tour of the new TEC-SMART facility in Malta. Participants will view the state-of-the-art classrooms and labs the company uses to train its workforce in semiconductor manufacturing and green technologies.

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