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High-tech career exploration program has big impact on HS senior


October 17, 2006

Quiet student “comes out of his shell” winning $1000 scholarship at SEMI High Tech U

MESA, Ariz. — Can three days off campus learning about high tech careers and the science behind chips that power modern day products like hand-held games and cell phones, change a kid’s ideas about the future? For students like Mesa High School senior Frank Perez they can. Frank attended the SEMI High Tech U program, which aims to ensure that Phoenix area high school students will be part of tomorrow’s high tech workforce by energizing and exciting them about math and science, and high tech careers.

"The program was awesome,” says Perez. “It taught me to appreciate and understand modern technology. I would recommend High Tech U to anybody and everybody interested in getting a head start in their technology career."

Since attending High Tech U in April, Perez has joined the Army Reserve where he’s working on technology communications studies. “Frank is a very bright student, and pretty quiet in class,” says Ken Jacox, one of Frank’s former teachers. “He really came out if his shell at High Tech U.”

So much so, that his fellow High Tech U classmates voted him the winner of the $1,000 scholarship awarded at the end of each program. Students vote using criteria focused on desired industry behaviors including participation, leadership, and teamwork.

“We often find that one of the side benefits of High Tech U is that the program gives students the confidence to try new things,” says SEMI Foundation vice president Lisa Anderson. Jacox thinks the program may have played a role in Perez’ decision to join the Reserve while still in school.

SEMI High Tech U Returns to Phoenix Area, October 25-27

Students from Hamilton, Gilbert, Mesa, and Red Mountain High Schools will take part in High Tech U, a three-day program that introduces them to the science of making semiconductors and to career opportunities available within the high tech industries.  High Tech U is a collaboration that includes global industry association SEMI, ASML, Advantest, Air Products, Intel, Maricopa Advanced Technology Education Center, and Arizona State University’s Polytechnic campus. Industry volunteers serve as instructors, exposing students to the technology used to create chips that power virtually every electronic device made today.

WHERE: Wednesday and Friday activities will be held at ASML Training Center, 2010 E. Centennial Circle, Tempe. Thursday activities will take place at the Microelectronics Teaching Factory located at the Arizona State University’s Polytechnic campus Technology Center, Mesa (intersection of Power and Williams Field Road).

BEST VISUAL OPPORTUNITIES:

Day One: Wednesday, October 25 — Location: All Wednesday activities are at ASML Training Center, 2010 E. Centennial Circle, Tempe.

10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Hacky Sack Catapult: The air is filled with hacky sacks as kids learn how medieval technology relates to modern day chip making in a math and statistics exercise called “Statapult”.

1:30-2:30 p.m. — Electronic Peg Board: Students develop working circuits similar to those on a chip

2:45-4:15 p.m. — Human Calculator: Using a “feet on” exercise, like the game “Twister”, students try not to get tangled up as they simulate electron microprocessor flow.

Day Two:        Thursday, October 26 — Location: All Thursday activities at the Microelectronics Teaching Factory located at the Arizona State University’s Polytechnic campus Technology Center, Mesa (intersection of Power and Williams Field Road).

1-3 p.m. Students “bunnie up” for clean room tour.

Day Three:      Friday, October 27 — Location: All Friday activities are at ASML Training Center, 2010 E. Centennial Circle, Tempe.

3- 4:20 p.m. — Job interview skills: Students learn job interview techniques; conduct mock interviews with industry professionals.

5-5:20 p.m. — Graduation. High Tech U grads receive their diplomas. Two students will each receive a $1000 scholarship.