Communities

Students to Tackle Science, Engineering at Micron Tech Camp

By Laurie Anderson - 2021-06-04

The Micron Tech Camp has doubled in size this year, with Micron team members preparing to teach virtual science and engineering lessons to more than 400 students located throughout the United States.

The three-day camps are for students who have just completed seventh or eighth grade, and they offer hands-on experiences related to what Micron does best: advanced memory and storage technologies. The Micron headquarters-based Inspire Learning team will host the four camp sessions, which will be held via Zoom. Each camp concludes with remarks from someone who understands the technology world — our own President and CEO, Sanjay Mehrotra.

“This is a chance for students to get excited about technology and engineering, as well as a chance for Micron team members to show their passion for what they do,” said Dee Mooney, Micron Foundation executive director. “Perhaps the experience sparks interest that leads to future careers.”

Micron’s summer camp goes virtual

Traditionally, students attended Micron’s summer camp, called “Chip Camp,” in person in Boise, Idaho. However, COVID-19 precautions forced a change of plans last year — with all activities converted into virtual format, Tech Camp was born. The shift required creativity and new skills but came with a positive development: Students (and mentors) from all over the U.S. could participate. The traditional in-person camp accommodated about 210 students each summer, and last year’s inaugural Tech Camp saw about the same number.

Tech Camp remains a virtual experience this year, creating opportunity for even more students to participate from all over the country. We expect to fill all four camps with more than 400 students from 14 states. Of these students, more than 30% are female, and 35% are from under-resourced schools, including rural schools.

To bridge the demographic gap and provide quality STEM programming to all, Micron’s Inspire Learning team projects to meet its goal of having more than 50% of the participating students from underrepresented and under-resourced groups and communities. This goal includes gender, ethnic origin, socioeconomic status and geographic disadvantages (such as rural areas with scarce resources).

What will the sessions cover?

Four sessions of the three-day Tech Camp are offered during June this year. To participate in these camp sessions, students only need a computing device with reliable internet access. Each camp attendee receives an activities kit in the mail a week before the session begins. This kit includes everything the student needs to participate in hands-on activities, as well as a T-shirt, camp booklet and assorted Micron-branded goodies. The booklet contains all the lesson papers needed for activities, as well as additional information and resources.

And during the three days of camp, students will participate in these activities:

  • Day 1: Micron & the Industry
    • Welcome
    • Micron’s story
    • Activity 1: “How Memory Is Made” — Students learn about the fabrication process and will make a mock wafer
    • Activity 2: How Memory Is Used: Solid-State Drives — Students build SSDs for a specific market sector using LEGO™ bricks
  • Day 2: Computer Science
    • Activity 1: Binary, the Language of Computers — Students create bracelets using binary coding
    • Activity 2: micro:bit — Embedded Systems and Programming — Students learn to use and program a microprocessor device
  • Day 3: Engineering Design
    • Activity 1: Circuit Design — Students learn how to create a simple circuit to build a flashlight
    • Activity 2: Engineering Design — Students use the engineering design process to build a motorized drawing robot
    • Closing remarks: Sanjay Mehrotra

Thank you, volunteers!

The camps are organized by myself and Cathy Ammirati, managers of Micron's Youth STEM programs. However, it’s the passion and generosity of Micron’s team member volunteers that make these camps for youth possible. This year, 134 volunteers, including 40 Micron interns, signed up for 288 total shifts.

“It’s wonderful to see so many Micron team members so generously give their time and knowledge,” Dee said. “Reaching more than 400 students is incredible, and that doesn’t happen without volunteers.”

Laurie Anderson

Laurie Anderson

Laurie Anderson manages the K12 STEM Education Outreach Programs through the Micron Foundation at Micron Technology. She has been with this group since 2006 and before that worked as an engineer in the semiconductor industry and also in education. She currently serves on the Idaho STEM Action Center Foundation Board, is the Chair of the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce Education & Workforce Committee, a member of Idaho Business for Education, and serves with other community and education-related nonprofit organizations and advisory groups.

+