Ever since we first established 3D InCites Awards program in 2013, our intention was to use the funds generated by sponsorship to promote STEM-based education. This year, thanks to the generosity of our platinum sponsor, KLA-Tencor, as well as silver sponsors, Yole Développement, and Amkor Technology, Inc., we are awarding the $2500 3D InCites Awards Scholarship to Sophie Mathis, a 14-year-old 10th grader at Mohonasen High School in Rotterdam, New York, who loves physics, is intrigued by aerospace and renewable energy, and whose grandfather worked for GE as a mechanical engineer. Although she’s not quite sure exactly what degree she will pursue, she knows it will be in a scientific field, and possibly engineering, because she likes to figure out how things work. Her current interest is astronomy, after learning so much about gravity waves in Honors Earth Science this past year.
Sophie, who is the youngest recipient and first girl to win the scholarship, was selected by her SEMI High Tech U class of 44 peers to receive the award during a recent three-day High Tech U workshop that she attended in Albany, New York.
She had to be nominated by them, and then she had to deliver a speech describing her qualifications. Although I wasn’t able to attend, Leslie Tugman, executive director of SEMI Foundation, described her as “a standout from Day One, and a beautiful person, both inside and out.” Leslie went on to say that Sophie demonstrated the SEMI High Tech U values of teamwork, positive attitude and interest and aptitude in high technology. While only 14 years old, she is mature for her age and has a charisma that attracts people to her. Sophie is avidly interested in science, technology, and astronomy. “I believe she is the kind of person that will go far in life,” said Leslie. “And with the help of this scholarship, there is no doubt her trajectory will soar.”
Outside of the classroom, Sophie has multiple interests and talents. She plays mellophone and French horn in the school marching band and concert band, respectively. She also sings in her school’s choir and select choir; and a cappella group. She also enjoys theater, participating in two community theater plays and several high school plays. She was inducted into the Tri-M Music Honor Society in May.
One minute into my 10-minute phone call with Sophie this morning and I understood why the other kids picked her. She is friendly and engaging – you can actually hear her smiling. She was absolutely thrilled to have won this scholarship. She plans on an Ivy League education (Cornell or Yale, maybe). So the scholarship will come in handy.
What did she like best about High Tech U? That was easy. “I got to meet lots of new people who are interested in what I’m interested in. It opened my eyes to high tech. It was so cool to see all the different options and careers, and it assured me of what I wanted to do,” she said. (This girl is 14 years old! I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do until I was 40, and even then I wasn’t sure.) Her high points of the three-day workshop included: touring the labs at RPI, visiting Price Chopper Supermarket headquarters to learn about the energy savings systems they have in place (she was surprised they needed engineers), and the visit to National Grid to learn how energy systems are divided. She also appreciated the lab lectures and mock interviews.
Sophie’s accolades for High Tech U closely echoed the words of one of our guest speakers at this year’s 3D InCites Awards Ceremony at SEMICON West.
Nishant Chandrashekar, a former graduate of SEMI High Tech U, who is currently pursuing a degree in computer science and engineering at UC Davis, credits his career decision directly to his experience at High Tech U, and the opportunity to interact with semiconductor industry professionals, and see semiconductor manufacturing in action at the companies he visited. In addition to learning about the industry, he also learned networking, speaking and leadership skills, as well as the importance of working towards a vision as a team.
For three consecutive years, 3D InCites and Impress Foundation has awarded a $2500 college scholarship to a graduate of SEMI High Tech U who wishes to pursue a degree in a STEM-related field. In 2014, the award went to Alexis Corona, then a senior at Pioneer Valley High, Woodland, CA, who had completed a SEMI High Tech U program in San Jose. Last year, we awarded the scholarship to Kailesh Raman, an 11th-grade student at Sandra Day O’Connor High School in Phoenix, AZ who completed the SEMI High Tech U program in June 2015. Additionally, we have donated a total of $7500 to the IEEE Frances B. Hugel Scholarship for Women in Engineering, which was established by TechSearch International. We do this because we believe educating our youth in STEM disciplines is critical for the future of our society as a whole. And we are very, very grateful to our sponsors and supporters over the years, including KLA-Tencor, Yole Développement, Amkor Technology, Inc., Micron, EV Group, Qualcomm, Mentor Graphics, Rudolph Technologies, Formfactor, and SPTS. Quite literally, we couldn’t do it without them. We hope they inspire more of you to support the 3D InCites Awards in the future.