ASML invests in technology lessons for 60,000 children: ‘Need of the hour’

Picture courtesy: Mad science

Starting this fall, ASML will launch a new technology education program together with Mad Science. Chip machine manufacturer ASML will pay for technology lessons for primary school children in the Eindhoven region. Each year, approximately 60,000 children will receive technology lessons from Mad Science through the program called ASML junior academy.

The project applies to pupils from group 1 of primary school. According to Lucas van Grinsven of ASML, children come into contact with technology education less and less, and in practice, they learn little about technology. “That’s too bad. If they have talent in this area, it is less easily discovered. The project aims to change that. This really immerses them in the technology.”

Mad Science has been providing technology classes in the Netherlands for over 17 years and will also lead this project. “This is huge and unique. This will have an enormous effect in the coming years,” says Frank Rienties of Mad Science in Eindhoven.

There will be special lessons covering technology in the Brainport region. “You can think of the medical sector of Philips. How do children understand what Philips does? Or if we look at ASML with the chip machines and semiconductors. That all sounds quite complicated, but what effect does it have on our daily lives? We want to make that clear in a playful way.”

One example, the children play with magnets to learn about cleaner transport. “Magnets are quite magical with their attraction and repulsion. By making magnets levitate, the children learn that the power of magnetism can mean a lot for transport and transportation. They play with magnets, but they (also) learn the scientific technique.”

Lucas van Grinsven of ASML aims to respond to an evidently growing social development: “All companies are slowly but surely becoming technology companies, as well as organisations. A government nowadays does everything digitally. This means that there is an increasing need for people to master technology.”

With this project, he hopes to stimulate the interest of the children. “You have to start somewhere. If it doesn’t happen automatically, we can lend a helping hand in this way.”

The project will be initially implemented in 50 schools this September. Over the next three years, this will be expanded to more than 250 primary schools, from group 1 to group 8. A teacher will visit six times a year. In addition, there are online lessons and the children can perform experiments at home. The company has not yet indicated how much ASML is investing in technical education.

“This is necessary”, says Van Grinsven of ASML. “There are already 50,000 jobs available in the Netherlands in technology. On average, two in ten children in the Netherlands opt for a technical education later on. If you look at what the world needs, there must be four out of ten. Only then will have enough. We will continue until we succeed.”

Source: ASML and Studio040

For Eindhoven News: Lila Mehrez

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