K-12 Activities

These fun, engaging, hands-on activities educate students about semiconductor concepts. The activities can easily be connected to math and science topics in the classroom. Each can be done as a stand-alone activity, or you can try as many as you like! Note that these activities can be done with common household/classroom items, and you won't need special supplies.

Etch This!

What does indigestion have to with a computer chip? Do this creative experiment with an antacid tablet and see if you can stop it from dissolving. Learn how this technique is used in the making of computer chips, which are all around you. Take a virtual tour of the GlobalFoundries “fab” where computer chips are made.

Topics: Chemistry, states of matter
Grades: 3-8; adaptable to all grades

#etch-this!

Activity: Etch This!
Explanation: How Does Etching Work?
Sand to Silicon
Fab Video

Make a 3D Computer Chip Model!

Computer chips may look flat, but they are actually made up of many layers of different materials and metal “lines”, or wires. Make a 3D model of a semiconductor, to help you envision the complex layers of a chip, then “Zoom into a Microchip” to see what a chip looks like under a powerful microscope.

Topics: Electrons, Conductor, Insulator, Semiconductor
Grades: 3-8; adaptable to all grades

#make-a-3d-computer-chip-model!

Activity: How to make a 3D computer chip model

Explanation: Computer Chips are 3D Structures!


Zoom into a Microchip
Credit: Lawrence Hall of Science

Bending Light!

How do engineers “bend light” to make computer chips? Do this hands-on activity using a flashlight, and then try out a really cool simulation you can do on your laptop or tablet. You’ll see how light is used in making computer chips at GlobalFoundries.

Topics: Physics, properties of light, refraction
Grades: 3-8; adaptable to all grades

#bending-light!

Activity: Bending Light!

Explanation: How is Bending Light Used in Semiconductors?

Activity: Bending Light Simulator

Credit:
PhET Interactive Simulations
University of Colorado Boulder
https://phet.colorado.edu

Sand to Silicon

Candy Diffusion!

Diffusion is an important part of making semiconductors, or computer chips – but what is “diffusion” exactly? Do a colorful diffusion experiment with candy coated chocolate candies, and then do a diffusion simulation on your laptop or tablet. Take a virtual tour of the GlobalFoundries “fab” where computer chips are made.

Topics: Diffusion, solids, liquids
Grades: 3-8; adaptable to all grades

#candy-diffusion!

Activity: Candy Diffusion

Explanation: How Does Diffusion Work?

Activity: Diffusion Simulator
Credit:
PhET Interactive Simulations
University of Colorado Boulder
https://phet.colorado.edu

Keep It Clean!

Do you realize how GIANT a speck of dust is, compared to the tiny lines, or wires, on a computer chip? Discover how we keep the chips clean as they are being made. Do a penny cleaning activity that mimics wafer cleaning in the GlobalFoundries semiconductor fab.

Topics: Chemistry, Acid, Base
Grades: 3-8; adaptable to all grades

#keep-it-clean!

Activity: Keep It Clean!

Explanation: Why do we need to keep everything clean?

Sand to Silicon

Fab Video

The Power of Ten!

Can you picture something 1,000 times smaller than yourself? How about one billion times smaller? Do this fun hands-on activity that looks like a creative art project, but is really about math and science! See inside a GlobalFoundries “clean room” where computer chips are made. You’ll find out just how small the tiny wires inside a computer chip really are.

Topics: Order of magnitude, metric measurement
Grades: 3-8; adaptable to all grades

#the-power-of-ten!

Activity: Draw 1 meter creature

Explanation: How small is a nanometer?

Sand to Silicon

Fab Video

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Stem @ GF

We aim to connect GlobalFoundries with the education community, while inspiring today’s students to learn more about the field of semiconductors. Semiconductors are everywhere in our lives. Think about all the things you interact with every day that have semiconductors (also known as computer chips) in them: smartphones, tablets, video game consoles, smart speakers, headphones, automobiles, just to name a few. We are passionate about showing students how these semiconductors are made — and the many kinds of jobs it takes to make them!

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K-12 Activities

For K-12, we share fun, engaging hands-on activities that educate students about semiconductor concepts. The activities can be easily be connected to math and science topics in the classroom.

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Pathways to Careers at GF

For High School and College, we show students what jobs are like in the field of semiconductors and what pathways to consider taking.

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Where you Can Find GF Chips

GlobalFoundries chips are found inside smartphones, and in the infrastructure that makes everything work.

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Glossary of Terms

Glossary of semiconductor terms

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About GlobalFoundries

GlobalFoundries has five global manufacturing sites located in the U.S. (Malta, NY, East Fishkill, NY, and Essex Junction, VT); Dresden, Germany; and Singapore.

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