Our High Tech U (HTU) is a three-day program for high school students who want to know more about careers in the tech industry. Students put science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills to use during hands-on workshops led by industry volunteers.
All workshops are activity-based and taught by tech professionals:
- Light up the room with an experiment facilitated by an engineer
- Make your own wafer with a manufacturing engineer
- Launch hacky sacks with quality engineers to see the importance of statistics
- Become a human calculator to see how logic gates work
- Interview with a tech recruiter or manager to learn how to get the job you want
- Flex your teamwork skills to solve a real-world problem
In addition to seeing the connection between STEM classes and tech careers, students hear from industry professionals about their school-to-work journeys.
“High Tech U was great in that it exposed me to the various areas of engineering. It helped me to understand what it is like to be an engineer and to pinpoint what it is that I really want to do for a living – and enjoy it!”
HTU gave me an unforgettable opportunity to visit tech companies and learn from tech professionals. This program connected me to some of the brightest students in my community, gave me lessons on computer programming, professional skills, etc., and helped me land my first internship after high school.
Looking back, one strong observation I have about the SEMI High Tech U program is that meeting and getting career information and advice from someone who works in industry makes a huge difference. We don’t tend to listen to parents and teachers who have not actually experienced the high tech workplace. For me, the skills I learned and activities I participated in - including a resume workshop and a mock interview - ended up leading me to a $10,000 scholarship award from Lam Research. I credit SEMI High Tech U with giving me the knowledge and tools for that to happen and to ultimately end up here at Apple in a job that I love.
HTU did something quiet but powerful for me when it exposed me to the STEM arena. Supporting my first college math and science courses with the Takayama scholarship, working with the successful women at HTU, and seeing myself succeed at the technical HTU challenges normalized to me a future where I successfully participate in the STEM arena. HTU removed the separation between STEM and me and I found my passion in it, accidentally. Now I manage software development for over 90,000 ASU students, representing minority women in places we are underrepresented. I also teach at-risk high school girls to code, encouraging them to represent and use STEM to gain access to success in unprecedented ways.
This program impacted me in a number of ways through coding and hardware activities, but most importantly through the role models I found in the field of engineering that seemed ‘normal’ -- like someone I would aspire to emulate.
SEMI High Tech U is really more than just a three-day program. It allowed me to grow and learn as a person. Nine years after HTU, I know it was a huge contribution to who I am today by directing me to the field of high tech. By exposure to both STEM skills and “soft skills” like networking and public speaking, I learned how to effectively innovate and affect change through technology.
HTU gave me exposure to a manufacturing industry and work environment that is not very visible or accessible to the general public. Having that exposure helped me find my passion and is what drove me to choose a career path in the high-tech industry.