Buried Underground: Silicon Valley’s Polluted History

How “green” do you think Santa Clara Valley is? We may have excellent recycling and composting programs, but Santa Clara County also has the most contaminated sites of any county in the nation! In this course you will learn all about Silicon’s Valley’s history of pollution from the 1950s to the present.

Locations: Los Gatos, In-Home, Online

Cost: $110/hr

Recommended hours: 6


  • Explore the history of tech manufacturing and associated pollution in Silicon Valley
  • Understand the basics of how to read scientific papers
  • Discuss the role of activists in environmental causes

To Enroll Call (650) 331-3251/ (408) 345–5200


Course Description:

Silicon Valley is recognized worldwide as a powerhouse of technological innovation. Our contemporary view is one of software giants like Apple, Google, HP, and Intel as the core of South Bay culture. However, Silicon Valley’s namesake is derived from the industrial manufacturing of semiconductors, made of silicon, which took off in Santa Clara County in the 1950s.

Semiconductors are a necessary technological component in any device using microchips, but what many don’t know is that the manufacturing industry that gave Silicon Valley its name also left a legacy of pollution buried underground. Santa Clara County has the most contamination sites of any U.S. county, and decades later we are still learning from our mistakes as we continue to clean up that pollution to this day.

In this interdisciplinary course, students dig deeper into the history of Silicon Valley to better understand the environmental science of pollution. Students learn the history of Santa Clara’s County’s rise to tech industry leader alongside a close reading of the scientific papers that lay out pollution’s effects on our community. This course also highlights the work of activists and investigative journalists in shedding light on the dangers of contaminated groundwater.

Make the Most of the Summer!

Students who stay actively engaged in the learning process during the summer perform better during the school year.

Contact AJ Tutoring to Enroll in Summer Tutoring
Peninsula Main Phone Number (650) 331-3251
Free Consultation