Summer camps can be fun, challenging and productive, but nothing may top what’s happening in the annual summer program at the Chevron Richmond Technology Center called Project SEED.
The nine-week-long internship program for budding young chemists has bright local high school students performing actual, real-life research for a multi-national corporation.
While kids across the country were bidding farewell to their summer crushes at traditional camps, several students in the Project SEED program spent Tuesday morning delivering presentations on complex projects that were realized following a summer’s worth of hard-earned research.
James Isidro, a Hercules High student, spent his summer testing whether Chevron’s processes for measuring particles in lubricants is effective, while his schoolmate Joakin Ejie discussed “tribological performance studies.”
Other talented student interns included Itzel Gonzalez and Fabiola Guerrero of Richmond High, Hams Laeeq and Tenzin Woeser of El Cerrito High, and Ansoni Carmona Gonzalez and Elexis Webster of Kennedy High.
Itzel Gonzalez reported that she’s taking her knowledge from the summer program to UC San Diego.
The students are among thousands across the country who have benefited from Project SEED over more than 40 years. The internship program, an American Chemical Society funded by Chevron, is aimed at students in economically disadvantaged areas, and interns are placed in professional laboratory settings.
Eligible students have completed high school chemistry and received a recommendation from their chemistry teacher.
Chevron accepted nine interns locally this summer and additionally provided funding for intern stipends.
Elaine Yamaguchi, a retired Chevron employee who helps run the program, said the sky is the limit for Project SEED kids.
“You could, after you go to college, after you get a degree, you could end up working here (Chevron), or at Bio-Rad, or at the USDA office,” she said. “You can actually work [in this field.]”
To find out more about the program, visit here.