Center will support programs in engineering, design and FIRST Robotics for area students
HEMLOCK, Mich. ― The new Hemlock Area STEM Center held a virtual groundbreaking today for what will become the future home for robotics and other STEM-related programs for Merrill, Swan Valley, St. Charles, Freeland and Hemlock school districts. The announcement comes as public health measures put in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus ruled out an actual groundbreaking.
The new, 60’ x 80’ facility, funded through a commitment of more than $100,000 from Hemlock Semiconductor Operations (HSC) as well as other donors, will provide opportunities for kindergarten through high school students to have a new, high-tech location for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) learning, FIRST Robotics teams and extracurricular programs. The new center is scheduled to open in late summer or early fall.
“Starting construction on the new Hemlock Area STEM Center moves us closer to having the space, materials and programs that will fuel continued learning for area students in and beyond school,” Hemlock Superintendent Don Killingbeck said. “This is a partnership that will allow students to find their passions, heighten their skills and develop the talents they’ll need for careers with employers such as HSC.”
Along with the $100,000 funding for the center, HSC also is matching up to $25,000 in additional funds to encourage other businesses and residents to support the full outfitting of the center’s tools and safety features.
“The STEM Center will provide a centralized location for FIRST Robotics teams where area students can build their robots and develop their skills through learning and teamwork,” said HSC Vice President of Manufacturing Andy Ault. “Our HSC team looks forward to seeing teams collaborate in this space and watching as students develop the skills that will enable them to be the next-generation leaders at HSC and in the Great Lakes Bay region.”
Once complete, the Hemlock STEM Center hopes to host a ribbon-cutting to showcase the facility, as well as programs and activities that the facility will support. Some classes are expected to be held as soon as the center is finished later this summer, while FIRST Robotics teams are expected to begin using the facility in the fall.
Schools statewide are closed through the end of the current school year under an executive order from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to help decrease the spread of coronavirus.
The center is being built on land adjacent to Hemlock High School, about 15 miles west of downtown Saginaw and five miles west of HSC. Video from a webcam at the site can be seen here.
About Hemlock Semiconductor
Hemlock Semiconductor Operations (HSC) is a joint venture between DuPont, Corning Inc. and Shin-Etsu Handotai. HSC is a leading provider of ultra-pure polycrystalline silicon and other silicon-based products used in the manufacture of semiconductors for electronic devices, solar cells and modules. HSC began operations in 1961. To find out more, go to hscpoly.com.
About Hemlock Public School District
For more information about this or other positive happenings in the Hemlock Public School District, visit us on the web at www.hemlockps.com. Please feel free to contact Technology Director Tom Lockwood, or Superintendent Don Killingbeck at (989) 642-5282 to learn more.