Developing Grade-School STEM Educators
STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) seems to bring everyone together. Recently, Applied Materials employees in Gloucester, MA hosted several dozen grade school science teachers for two days of in-depth presentations on semiconductor manufacturing as well as tours of our research and development facility, in an effort to provide a glimpse into possible STEM career opportunities in their own backyard. Teachers also toured the ever popular wind turbine located on the campus, which not only generates clean energy but serves as an on-site learning laboratory.
The Applied-event was part of a career development series for teachers offered by STEM^2 (STEM Squared), a new partnership bringing together public education, private education and industry to equip students with quality science instruction and the necessary skills to become tomorrow’s technology workforce.
The first of two workshops kicked off at Gordon College where educators presented a morning program focused on “Elementary Skills Required for College Career Readiness.” I had the opportunity to provide an overview of Applied Materials and its local support of STEM education to the assembled crowd. Additionally several government officials gave remarks in support of STEM education including Massachusetts Congressman John Tierney.
The second workshop featured a morning program centered on “Cultivating Student Scientific Habits and Inquiry Skills.”
It was a pleasure to host the teachers and provide first-hand insight into rewarding and exciting career paths in our industry. Following the visits to Applied, the teachers responded positively expressing how the experience brought STEM to life for them and how they now better understand its extensive value in the workplace. The employees who participated showed an enthusiasm for their work and the teachers left inspired to encourage their students to pursue a science-focused career.
As a leading global semiconductor equipment maker and local high-tech employer, I’m proud to work at a company that understands the value of professional development for teachers and the importance of STEM education in developing tomorrow’s future innovators and engineers, as these are the minds that will help advance the high-tech industry around the world.