OSWEGO, N.Y. — A Micron Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MU) official provided keynote remarks — discussing technology partnerships with area schools and more — at the 84th SUNY Oswego Technology Fall Conference held Oct. 26-27.
Robert Simmons, head of social impact and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) programs at Micron Technology and the Micron Foundation, was the guest speaker at the event with more than 400 attendees, SUNY Oswego said in a Nov. 16 news release.
The conference — presented by the university’s technology department — traditionally welcomes educators and professionals from different school disciplines and grade levels. Participants learn about technology and teaching techniques while networking with other educators and professionals. The conference also features commercial exhibits with the latest technology for classrooms and laboratories.
The university described Simmons’ keynote remarks as a new feature for the conference. Boise, Idaho–based Micron, a semiconductor manufacturer, has plans to build a massive campus in the White Pine Commerce Park in the town of Clay. The firm on Oct. 4, 2022, announced a planned investment of $100 billion in the region over the next 20 years.
Simmons, who started his career as a middle-school teacher, said that as Micron moved into the community, the company saw a need to support and cultivate the workforce of tomorrow. Micron knew it would need to scale up STEM partnerships and programs with educational institutions of all levels, “and we have done so, as more than 205,000 young people have received STEM opportunities to date,” he said, per the release.
Those efforts have included creating opportunities in “impoverished and economically challenged communities and for those with challenging home situations,” SUNY Oswego noted.
“Curiosity and innovation among kids and young people is a universal truth,” Simmons said. “Across societies and across generations, everybody wants to be creative, everybody wants to tinker, everybody wants to be a maker in their souls.”
Micron is working with SUNY Oswego, Onondaga Community College, Syracuse University, and many other colleges and universities, and Pre-K-12 districts across the greater Central New York region as a result. The company seeks to have its partnerships with educational institutions across the region serve as a model for how technology changes lives, Simmons said.
“This room of people and this community are parts of that story,” Simmons told a packed Sheldon Hall ballroom. “As we step into what’s next, it’s important that we all step forward together.”
SUNY Oswego technology-education professor Richard Bush, who coordinates the Technology Fall Conference, said it was successful both in terms of quantity and quality.
“We had an amazing turnout, with more than 400 people and the most vendors we’ve had since before COVID,” Bush said. “People kept coming up to me and saying, ‘this conference just keeps getting better and better.’ ”
About 95 percent of attendees were SUNY Oswego alumni, so Bush saw the conference as “particularly special” to the Laker family, he added.
“It was cool to see so many former students who are succeeding and accomplishing great things in this field,” Bush said. “This conference serves as a homecoming for our alumni.”