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April 15, 2009 > Summer program stimulates interest in technology, science

Summer program stimulates interest in technology, science

Submitted By Michael Leahy

The 2009 TECH Academy of Silicon Valley returns with its quest to improve students' understanding of engineering and technology and support their participation in math and science.

TECH Academy helps middle and high school students explore and improve skills needed to pursue college-level work in engineering, technology and science. Introductory sessions start June 22 and July 13 at San Jose State University, Santa Clara University, Live Oak High School in Morgan Hill, California State University-East Bay in Hayward, and Alsion Montessori School in Fremont.

Water, Energy, Environment, Space & High Technology is an introductory academy for students entering sixth, seventh and eighth grades. The interactive course emphasizes teamwork, innovative problem solving, and project-based 'learning by doing.'

Robotics, Signal Analysis and RFID offers advanced courses for upcoming freshmen through seniors and graduates of the introductory academy. In Robotics, one of three modules in this course, students learn about robot structures and electronic control and build a small-scale robot to accomplish a task. In Signal Analysis, they learn to recognize sounds, based on frequency analysis using an oscilloscope. RFID introduces them to Radio Frequency Identification Devices and leads them to design their own RFID application.

Fuel Cell Technology & Fuel Cell Car concentrates on the hydrogen fuel cell, with students building, testing, and using them to power race a model car. This is a space program technology that has been converted to simple alternative-energy application on Earth.

Solar Cell Fabrication & Systems students will design and build solar cell systems and learn specifications required to fit a variety of applications. The course covers how solar cells convert photon power (light) to electron power.

Green Energy students will learn about the "carbon footprints" of different energy sources. They will also design systems to use energy sources most effectively and gauge their efficiency.

NASA is developing a Mars exploration program, charting a course for the next two decades. Students in Mars Exploration will learn about the planet's environment, its mineral and other potential resources, processing materials for manufacturing life support systems, and requirements for humans to live and work there.

"It is critical, in this new era of globalization, for students to understand the importance of math and science in meeting requirements for entering into the exciting professions of engineering, technology and science-related programs," says founder Dr. Jay Pinson, Dean Emeritus of San Jose State University.

For more information, e-mail , visit or call (877) 224-1256.

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