The Synopsys Silicon Valley Science and Technology Outreach Foundation


Founded in July 1999, the Synopsys Outreach Foundation works to ignite interest, nurture potential, and empower all K-12 students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. In order to do this, we collaborate with Greater Bay Area education stakeholders and community partners to provide equitable and inclusive opportunities in project-based STEM.

The Foundation annually enables an estimated 150,000 students and teachers engaged in project-based learning at public schools and private non-profit schools with 501(c)(3) status in California.

The Synopsys Outreach Foundation serves as the major sponsor of project-based STEM events across the Greater Bay Area, including: the Synopsys Silicon Valley Science and Technology Championship (the regional fair for students in Santa Clara County), the Synopsys Sonoma County (CA) STEAM Showcase, The Synopsys Alameda County (CA) Science & Engineering Fair, sciencepalooza! (a science fair for students in the East Side Union High School District of San Jose), and enables numerous science fairs at the district, middle and elementary school levels.

Please check our Calendar of Activities and this web site periodically for the latest information.

Diversity and Inclusion

The Synopsys Outreach Foundation is committed to inclusiveness and diversity in its staff board of directors and volunteers. The Synopsys Outreach Foundation takes meaningful steps to promote inclusiveness in its hiring retention promotion board recruitment and constituencies served.

Synopsys Outreach Foundation Board of Directors



  • Chairwoman: Erin Guzman – Director, Corporate Affairs, Synopsys Inc.
  • Board Secretary: Erika Varga McEnroe – Senior Vice President, Deputy General Counsel & Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer, Synopsys Inc.
  • Board Assistant Secretary: David Moyce – Legal Counsel, Synopsys Inc.
  • Board Treasurer: Jeff Morrison – Senior Director of Finance, Synopsys Inc.


Board Members:

  • Vern Caruz – Principal, Stipe Elementary
  • Virginia Lehmkuhl Dakhwe, PhD. – University STEM Education Officer, San Jose State University
  • Dana Ditmore – President, Oak Valley Consulting, Inc.
  • Michael Kaufman, PhD. – Dean, College of Science (SJSU)
  • Melinda Marks – VP of Marketing at Armorblox
  • Roy Okuda, PhD. – Professor of Chemistry, San Jose State University
  • Caitlin Perez – HR Programs Manager, Synopsys, Inc.
  • Narayanan Raju, PhD. – Sr. Staff Engineer, Synopsys, Inc.
  • Larke Reeber – Santa Clara Valley Science & Engineering Fair Association
  • Dr. Lynn Shannon – Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
  • Amelia Shen – Director, R & D, Synopsys, Inc.
  • Simone Souza – Sr. Public Relations Manager. Synopsys, Inc.
  • Brandon Thompson – R & D, Synopsys, Inc.
Kate Houston

Kate Houston

President, Synopsys Outreach Foundation

Katherine Houston is a Bay Area leader in Corporate Social Responsibility. Over the past decade, she has held a variety of community-focused positions in government, universities, corporations, and nonprofits. Katherine is enthusiastic about creating more opportunities for inclusion in STEM – especially for the underserved communities in the Bay Area. To contact Katherine, please email her at
Lauren Foote

Lauren Foote

STEM Programs Manager, Synopsys Outreach Foundation

Lauren Foote is intensely passionate about engaging, hands-on science education with a lens of equity and access for underserved communities. She served for 10+ years as a middle school science teacher in South San Jose. Her goal is to grow more equitable, exciting STEM opportunities for educators and students across the Bay Area. To contact Lauren, please email her at

Tax Exempt Status

In a letter dated January 5, 2001, The Internal Revenue Service determined that the Synopsys Silicon Valley Science & Technology Outreach Foundation is “exempt from federal income tax under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code as an organization described in section 501(c)(3).” The IRS further determined that the Foundation is “a private operating Foundation within the meaning of section 509 (a) of the Code.” Our tax EIN (employer identification number) number is 77-0520414.

For more information about the Synopsys Outreach Foundation please email

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