Nearly 60 high school students suited up and ventured inside the “clean room” (a dust- and contaminant- free environment for the manufacture of electronic components) at the Milpitas-based headquarters of global technology leader KLA.
“Putting on the bunny suit was really fun. …We saw how wafers (a thin slice of semiconductor) and lasers were used,” shared Milpitas High School sophomore Naira Niyamathullah, who was one of 57 students to attend the 2023 Manufacturing Day (MFG Day) on Friday, October 13. “It was better than what I thought it was. It was really cool.”
Milpitas Unified School District high school students from Calaveras Hills, MUSD Middle College HS, and Milpitas HS participated in MFG Day, a nationwide event that is held on a Friday in October. MUSD, in partnership with the City of Milpitas, secured two local advanced manufacturing agencies, KLA and Flex (a global supply chain & manufacturing solutions provider), to host students for a day.
“I actually learned a lot. I knew Flex was a big company and based here in Milpitas, but I really didn’t know they produced this many products,” said MHS freshman Karthi Senthilkumar “They make everything from tennis shoes to iPhones. Everything is being produced here. That was surprising.”
Freshman Fayaz Abdurahman agreed about the value of this opportunity: “I’m happy that I signed up because I got to see a lot of things that usually kids like us would never see.”
Students started their day at KLA, where a speaker panel shared the technology being developed, discussed the career paths they have taken, answered student questions, and toured the facility.
“It went above my expectations. I really enjoyed it here. I liked both of them a lot,” said Pallavi Chakracarthy, a sophomore at MHS. “I did not know what advanced manufacturing was (before). For me, I noticed it takes a lot of teamwork and making sure you don’t make a mistake.”
The second part of the day was spent at Flex, where administrators hosted a luncheon while sharing an overview of their company. Students toured their manufacturing facilities and learned about the different skilled jobs at their campus.
“We wanted to show them the opportunities that are available in the Bay Area for them in their local community,” said Rodney Manning, Senior Director of Operations at Flex. “We wanted to show them that it is not just technology with manufacturing, but also HR, finance, IT. All of that goes into producing devices that they use every day.”
As an engaging culminating activity, students conducted a manufacturing line where they built paper airplanes. They experienced the differences of building something individually and working as a team. They learned the benefit of working collaboratively.
“The purpose of today was so they can see a bit of the real world and get some experience of what it is like working in manufacturing and how it ties into engineering and the whole process,” said Paul Okoye, MHS Career Technical Education (CTE) teacher. “It has been a great experience, really an adventure showing them what Silicon Valley is known for.”
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING:
The governing board of Milpitas Unified School District will hold a Public Hearing on Tuesday, June 28, 2022.