As the demand for interconnectivity continues to grow across the world, so does the demand for the technologies that support this connection. Semiconductors are crucial to technologies that offer interconnectivity, and engineers are needed for their development and manufacturing. There are currently several demographic and economic factors that are hindering the workforce in the semiconductor space, but building an early interest in STEM careers can help correct this. By building an early interest in STEM, we can ignite curiosity from an early age and develop lifelong skills that engineers will need.
IEEE TryEngineering empowers teachers to inspire the next generation of engineering and technical innovators. The site provides teachers, students, and volunteers with pre-university resources designed to engage the next generation of STEM professionals. The following TryEngineering resources incorporate concepts and/or technologies that are closely tied to semiconductors.
From Sand to Silicon: the Making of a Chip (from Intel)
TryEngineering offers a database of lesson plans to teach engineering concepts to students aged 4-18. All lesson plans are peer reviewed by teachers. The following lesson plans are broken down into categories where the technology is made possible by semiconductors or microelectronics.
Nano/Chemistry-Nanotechnology is a field of science and technology which is the basis for many semiconductor materials. These lessons explore matter at the nanolevel, with some exploring the chemical properties of these materials used for semiconductors.
- Be a Scanning Probe Microscope
- Exploring at the Nanoscale
- Fizzy Nano Challenge
- Nano Waterproofing
- The Power of Graphene
- Try Your Hand at Nano
- What is a Nanometer
Electronics/Circuits-Semiconductor materials are used in electric circuits to control the flow of electricity. Microchips are one of the most commonly used semiconductors in circuits. These lessons provide a foundation for electrical circuits.
- Electric Dough
- Electric Messages: Now and Then
- Electric Switches
- Flashlights and Batteries
- Get Connected with Ohm’s Law
- Insulators and Conductors
- LEDs and Resistors
- Make a Light Bulb with Batteries
- Series and Parallel Circuits
- Sketching Circuits
Renewable energy-These lessons from TryEngineering demonstrate how engineers will be responsible for driving renewable energy sources in order to reduce and eliminate coal and fossil fuels from human usage. Semiconductor materials will play a role in the development of many of these systems, such as in the panels used in solar energy.
- Here Comes the Sun
- Measuring the Wind
- Solar Power
- Solar Structures
- Working with Watermills
- Working with Wind Energy
Bioengineering-These lessons from TryEngineering provide a foundational understanding of bioengineering and biomimicry, and how engineers use biomimicry to create technologies with meaningful impact in areas such as climate change. Microtechnologies are often part of these technological solutions.
Machine Learning & Robotics-These lessons from TryEngineering introduce the concepts of microcontrollers, machine learning and robotics, all powered by semiconductors.
TryEngineering provides links to STEM-themed games and activities for pre-university students. The following games provide opportunities for students to explore themes related to semiconductors such as nanotechnology and circuitry.
TryEngineering provides career pathways to help prospective students understand various fields of engineering. The following pathways have information and resources that can help students get started in a career with semiconductors. Download our free infographic, How Will You Change the World?, that highlights exciting engineering careers that make a difference.
Resources from the SEMI Foundation
Career Awareness Resources from Semi Foundation
- Chip In Documentary by Roadtrip Nation-This PBS documentary follows three young people who are trying to find their way in the semiconductor industry. The documentary explains semiconductors well, and its portrayal of the authentic struggle with career uncertainty can resonate with many students.
- SEMI Career Exploration Website-The SEMI Foundation has created a career exploration website as a tool educators can use to raise career awareness within the industry for their students. Students can complete interest surveys, identify transferable skills, and even search local companies and jobs.
- SEMI Stories-The SEMI Foundation works with its member companies to highlight a variety of professionals from the semiconductor world. Watch as they talk through a day in their lives, their career path, and what drives them to do the work they do.
Lessons by the Semi Foundation
Semi Foundation provides curricula for a wide range of topics impacted by the microelectronics industry. The following lesson plans, ranging from grades 2-12, are suitable for instructors with a wide range of familiarity with semiconductors and electronics.
Highlighted mini-units include:
Other teacher-created lessons the SEMI Foundation offers include:
- LEGO Build Some Microchips
- Gone With the Wind – Building a Sailcar
- Think Fast – Comparing Human Reactions
- Automation for the People
- Semiconductor Career Research
- What are Semiconductors?
- The Silicon in Silicon Valley
- Matrices and Semiconductors
- Transition to Electric Cars
- Sustainability & Renewable Energy
- Robots vs Cancer
- Let’s Go Solar!
- Biomimics Aren’t Gimmicks
- Automating our Lives
The following are additional resources from TryEngineering that can help students understand the foundation of topics related to semiconductors such as nanotechnology, robotics, and climate change.