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Richmond High School Opens New Computer Lab to Extend Engineering Curriculum

Instructors and students in the new computer lab at Richmond High School.

Instructors and students in the new computer lab at Richmond High School.

 

From the Globe News Desk

Richmond High School opened a $60,000 computer lab today to help prepare students for careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.

A product of efforts between the City of Richmond and Chevron, the lab is one example of how public-private relationships are helping to prepare California’s youth for the 21st century economy.  Students using the computer lab will be taught with a curriculum from Project Lead the Way, a national educational nonprofit offering STEM curriculum to middle and high school students. Chevron provided funding for Project Lead the Way curriculum and materials.

The opening comes weeks after President Obama pledged to increase STEM education funding in the U.S. The computer lab is expected to benefit more than 66 students enrolled in the engineering academy, which features Project Lead the Way curriculum, at Richmond High School in 2011.

“Today’s students are going to need the right tools to not only compete but to thrive in an economy that’s increasingly driven by technical jobs,” said Mike Coyle, general manager of Chevron’s Richmond refinery.  “Our work with the City of Richmond, West Contra Costa Unified School District and Project Lead the Way helps more of California’s youth to excel in the STEM curriculum and pursue careers in those fields.”

The lab will include 35 new computers equipped with software designed to develop students’ skills in engineering principles and design.

“This computer lab will help feed a real hunger among many of our students for advanced classes and training,” said Dr. Bruce Harter, West Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools. “It will allow us to expand the engineering classes we can offer to our students and help pave the way to their success.”

Chevron’s work with Project Lead the Way helped bring the STEM curriculum to 850 additional California students in the 2010-2011 school year (and Project Lead the Way plans to expand to additional schools for the 2011-12 school year). Chevron has donated $1.6 million to date to help bring Project Lead the Way curriculum and materials to California schools.

“We’re proud to continue working with Project Lead the Way as part of our California Partnership to bring new and improved opportunities to Richmond,” said Matt Lonner, manager of global partnerships and programs for Chevron. “We understand that California will never maintain its leadership without world-class education, and that our company cannot maintain its leadership without a world-class, well-educated work force.”

The California Partnership is a Chevron initiative to invest in education and economic development in its home state. Through this initiative, Chevron has expanded and deepened its work with more than 20 nonprofit organizations engaged in economic development and education around California.

“The new computer lab is a great example of how public agencies, non-profits and businesses can all work together to help students,” said Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin. “We’re excited that all of these future engineers will be able to start their training close to home.”

Written by Globe Newspapers

Filed under: Education

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