IEEE Receives Grant to Develop Lesson Plans On Semiconductors

Students will learn about the industry thanks to funding from onsemi

3 min read
A circuit board with wires plugged into it is laying on top of an open laptop

The IEEE TryEngineering program believes part of the learning process for students is to show them how to use technology to model simple solutions.

IEEE TryEngineering

The ON Semiconductor Foundation, an onsemi Giving Now program, recently awarded the IEEE Foundation a two-year grant totaling US $137,125 for IEEE TryEngineering to develop content about semiconductor technology for middle school students and their teachers. The preuniversity outreach program is overseen by IEEE Educational Activities. Onsemi, headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz., funds STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) educational activities for underprivileged youth in underserved communities where they operate globally. The company is a leading semiconductor manufacturer serving tens of thousands of customers across several markets with intelligent power and sensing technologies.

“Through our Giving Now program, onsemi is driving positivity forward by creating meaningful change for our planet and every community that we live and work in around the globe,” says Tyler Lacey, board president for the ON Semiconductor Foundation. “On behalf of the Foundation, we’re proud to support the work of the IEEE Foundation and IEEE TryEngineering as we work toward making the world better together.”

A purple semiconductor is sitting on a platform  with a pen and a human hand touching itThanks to the grant from the ON Semiconductor Foundation, students will learn how semiconductors are made through hands-on activities.IEEE TryEngineering

Increasing the semiconductor workforce pipeline

The 2022 U.S. CHIPS and Science Act highlighted a gap in the workforce pipeline. There is a projected shortage of nearly 67,000 workers in the semiconductor industry by 2030, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association. That’s why onsemi and IEEE recognize the importance of introducing students to the industry.

The Giving Now grant will fund the creation of video-based professional development courses to help educators teach middle-school students about semiconductors and the industry, officials say. The project also includes on-site professional development for teachers in the Phoenix area, plus lesson-plan materials, including video-supported classroom activities.

IEEE Educational Activities staff and the organization’s semiconductor experts are developing content for use in classrooms, as well as support for teachers.

“A skilled and diverse pipeline of workers is crucial to support plans for building semiconductor industry capacity globally.” —Jamie Moesch, IEEE Educational Activities managing director.

“IEEE has experts in all the fields involved in the manufacturing of semiconductors, and we also have many excellent educators in these fields,” says Tom Coughlin, 2024 IEEE president. “We are proud to be a resource as well as helping to train the next generation of semiconductor process technicians and engineers.”

“A skilled and diverse pipeline of workers is crucial to support plans for building semiconductor industry capacity globally,” says Jamie Moesch, IEEE Educational Activities managing director. “IEEE Educational Activities is excited to be able to partner with onsemi to provide educational resources for pre-university students to help them learn about the opportunities available in this growing industry.”

IEEE TryEngineering educational resources

Since 2006, IEEE TryEngineering has empowered educators to foster the next generation of technology innovators. The program is focused on contributing to the global STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) workforce pipeline by providing resources to overcome barriers in educational systems.

That includes free, Web-based access to culturally relevant, developmentally appropriate, and educationally sound instructional resources for teachers and community volunteers. IEEE TryEngineering also provides unbiased information about STEM careers as well as access to mentors and communities of learners.

“Partnering with onsemi will allow IEEE to develop exciting content that students and their teachers are looking for,” says Debra Gulick, director of IEEE student and academic educational programs. “IEEE TryEngineering is uniquely positioned for this project due to the organization’s vast network of volunteers, who will assist by providing the most current information and resources on semiconductors necessary to inspire the next generation of engineers.”

The funds are to be administered by the IEEE Foundation in partnership with IEEE TryEngineering.

This article appears in the March 2024 print issue as “IEEE Receives Grant for Semiconductor Educational Resources.”

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