Chevron Products Co. plans to distribute a series of “Energy for Learning” grants totaling $1 million among 15 South Bay schools, signifying the largest science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)-related donation ever made by Chevron’s El Segundo Refinery in support of local educational programs.
As part of the announcement activities, and in recognition of Mathematics Awareness Month, some of the area’s top performing students are demonstrating their most recent STEM projects for local educators, civic leaders, business partners and Chevron employees at the Chevron Employee Park.
The $1 million contribution is a reflection of the Chevron El Segundo Refinery’s ongoing investment in the region and its nearly 100 year history as a member of the community. It is also part of Chevron’s California Partnership, an ongoing initiative to invest in education and economic development in California, its home state.
“As a California company we have a rich legacy here in the South Bay. We have long made support for K-12 education one of our top priorities because we know that it is the key to innovation, provides the skills for our next generation of leaders, and helps ensure the sustainability of our competitive position in a global economy,” said Frank Semancik, general manager, Chevron El Segundo Refinery. “We live and work in these communities and are proud to support quality education in our local schools.”
Among the grant recipients is El Segundo High School, which will put the donation towards transforming a former woodshop space into an engineering lab to support a four-year program focused on science, math and technology. In conjunction with Project Lead the Way, a non-profit partner also supported by Chevron’s California Partnership, El Segundo High School students will receive a rigorous, hands-on technical education while earning college level credit for the work they complete in high school. These engineering lab courses will culminate in a capstone project where students spend an entire year working with a mentor to solve a challenge of their own choosing while applying principles developed in the foundation courses.
“By bringing science, technology, engineering, and math programs to students, we are propelling California forward,” said Superintendent of El Segundo Unified School District Geoff Yantz. “These programs give young people the opportunity for prosperity in the fields that will drive the future growth of this state.”The Manhattan Beach Middle School will use the funds to establish the “Chevron Futures Institute for the Advancement of Young Women in Science, Mathematics and Technology.”
With a strong emphasis on creative problem solving and teamwork, the rigorous curriculum will include studies in robotics, genetic engineering, alternative energy, bioinformatics, telematics, astrogeology, astrophysiology, astrobiology, space exploration, ocean exploration, and environmental issues and solutions. Each year’s studies will culminate in a Chevron Futures Institute EXPO during which the participants will present their solutions to real problems they have researched during the school year.
“Chevron has a long history of community involvement in this region,” said Don Knabe, Los Angeles County supervisor representing the County’s 4th District. “As a responsive business neighbor, their investment through this $1 million grant will help our school districts continue to enhance education, foster economic development and secure a bright future for our great state.”
Another grant will be used by the Da Vinci Schools to develop the new Chevron Center, which will allow students to connect, collaborate and innovate with STEM and design experts, and with their peers, from around the world. Chevron’s gift will be used to provide funding for laptop computers, video conferencing technologies and mobile laptop carts. The Chevron Center will also allow students who are ill or not enrolled in the schools to virtually attend its project-based learning classrooms. Using sophisticated Web 3.0 technology, all students will be empowered to acquire the skills necessary to thrive in the 21st century.
Schools/Districts supported by the $1 million grant include:
- El Segundo High School (ESUSD) Richmond Street School (ESUSD) Center Street School (ESUSD) Manhattan Beach Middle School (MBUSD) Da Vinci Science Academy (Wiseburn School District) Dana Middle School (Wiseburn School District) Environmental Charter High School (Lawndale Elementary School District) Hawthorne High School (CVUHSD) Hawthorne Math & Science Academy (Hawthorne School District) Hermosa View Elementary School (HBCSD) Lawndale High School (CVUHSD) Lawndale Elementary School (Lawndale Elementary School District) Leuzinger High School (CVUHSD) Redondo Union High School (RBUSD) Lennox Academy (Lennox School District)