Despite challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, Micron Gives was undaunted in delivering STEM education, bringing science, technology, engineering and mathematics learning opportunities to more than 2,500 students around the world — in Taiwan, Japan, Italy, Shanghai and the U.S. — from August 2020 through July 2021.
Micron STEM education programs are designed to excite students in all grades and introduce them to fun and fascinating STEM fields. We want students to fall in love with these subjects — especially those related to making semiconductors — and to foster a passion that, hopefully, turns into careers. Who knows? Perhaps some of the bright and curious students attending our programs will become bright and curious Micron team members in a few years.
Here’s a quick rundown of some of our signature STEM education programs that Micron Gives organized around the world.
Job shadow program for a high-tech world
Our long-standing job shadow program, in which students learn about careers in the semiconductor industry, moved online this year due to COVID-19 precautions. More than 350 students participated in activities to learn about the semiconductor industry. They interacted with team members in chosen career fields to find out what it takes to pursue those careers. Students were also introduced to career and higher education pathway resources.
These programs don’t happen without help. In this case, over 80 Micron volunteers from several U.S. sites made the program possible. Their mentorship and role-modeling influenced students from across the country. The virtual format allowed us to reach a wider diversity of students, including 34% female participants and more from underrepresented and under-resourced populations than in previous years.
The feedback we receive highlights the importance of these programs. Here’s what one parent said, “My son walked away with loads of good, new information on careers he hadn’t thought much about before. This was priceless for him, so a big thank you to everyone.”
Girls Going Tech
Micron’s Global Girls Going Tech (GGTech) program is all about giving girls a chance to explore STEM concepts through fun, hands-on activities while learning directly from women working in STEM fields at Micron.
Girls Going Tech events were held in the U.S., Taiwan and Japan.
In the U.S., more than 250 girls from six states participated in the virtual events this year. Micron team members once again volunteered in force, with 50 team members giving their time and expertise to the program. In addition, 40% of U.S. participants were from under-resourced populations.
Taiwan hosted multiple GGTech events, with more than 230 students and 23 volunteers participating. In Japan’s inaugural GGTech event, 52 students and three Micron volunteers were involved, along with 18 college students from Hiroshima University who volunteered and helped make the event a success.
Women in Technical Careers events
Women in Technical Careers (WITC) brings casual, interactive and informative career discussions to female students in grades nine through 12. Career presenters are women who work at Micron in various STEM-related fields. These WITC events have Q&A forums on topics ranging from what classes to take in high school to how to choose a college and what is the most challenging part of a STEM career. A total of 76 students from three U.S. states attended the eight events, which were put on with the help of 25 Micron volunteers.
Micron Tech Camp
Micron’s Tech Camp increased its numbers this year with more than 400 junior high-aged students from 15 states — 34% were female and over 50% were from underrepresented or under-resourced populations. Four weeks of camp were held virtually for the second year, and Micron shipped students their activity materials to ensure they had a hands-on STEM experience. A total of 140 Micron team members, including 40 interns, supported Tech Camp by volunteering their time and energy to make these camps possible. Micron’s President and CEO Sanjay Mehrotra provided the keynote address for each week of camp.
Again, the feedback is positive. Parents love to see their students engaged in summer activities, sending messages of gratitude like this one: “This camp was amazing. My son said that if this camp went every day of his summer break, he still would happily participate. Thank you so much!”
Thanks to team member volunteers, virtual STEM lessons were delivered to students in two rural Idaho communities on a weekly or biweekly basis. These communities are in remote locations that make in-person outreach difficult. The virtual format (and the dedication of the volunteers) made this experience possible.
A total of 85 students participated across the 26 virtual sessions, which were put on by 12 Micron volunteers. Of those participating, half were female and 100% were from under-resourced populations, meaning they were from rural or low socioeconomic status schools. Also, 30% were from populations that are underrepresented in STEM.
Two additional programs were offered in Taiwan: Micron’s Science Winter Camp and the Science Fun Fair. In January, 120 students participated in the Science Winter Camp with three Micron volunteers. In April, more than 800 students enjoyed 20 science booths that 30 volunteers prepared for the Science Fun Fair.
In Italy, Micron facilitated a challenge called STEAM Beyond Borders and Barriers. In this challenge, 40 students from four secondary institutions collaborated with the Politecnico di Milano on two projects that will benefit their communities while inspiring the next generation of inventors. This collaboration resulted in the creation of a virtual technology museum and the development of a downloadable app that allows users to take a virtual tour of an area with historic and scientific significance. Micron team members served as mentors and advisers for these projects.
Micron Shanghai invited a group of seventh-grade students to the site with team members conducting STEM activities. The students built a circuit with LEDs and got so excited when the LEDs lit up with “Love Micron.” Another activity involved taking cellphones apart to observe the inside technology, with engineers showing how to perform simple cellphone testing and explaining the major components of a cellphone.
Micron global STEM programs have had a rich history of providing STEM education outreach to our site communities. Pivoting to a virtual format allowed us to reach not only more students but also to reach populations that may not have had access to these types of experiences. We know that diverse experiences contribute to innovation and that innovation is a spark that helps all people reach their full potential.