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

Activity: Etch This!

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

Zoom into a MicrochipZoom into a Microchip
Credit: Lawrence Hall of Science

Fab Video

 

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

Activity: Bending Light!
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

Activity: Candy Diffusion

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

Fab Video

 

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

Activity: Keep It 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

Sand to Silicon

Fab Video

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