Students in a Fort Valley State University program are spending two weeks out of their summer to learn about oil, technology, and energy.
The Cooperative Developmental Energy Program provides 9th -12th graders the opportunity to learn about STEM jobs. Students like Trevor Johnson traveled to Houston, Texas and visited oil companies like Exxon and Shell.
“This is something you don’t think about -- you turn on your light and it comes on and you don't think about the hundreds of people that have jobs and their job is to make sure that you get that steady flow of energy,” says Johnson.
Johnson joined the program in 9th grade, but says he always had an interest in math and science, while in Texas they had a hands-on experience with new technology.
“There was a special pair of glasses that was motion-tracking, so that you can actually walk and then it became more of an augmented reality and you can actually walk around and see the engine,” says Johnson.
Director Isaac Crumbly started the program in 1983.
“With CDEP, they're getting two STEM degrees within five years,” says Crumbly.
Once students complete the program, they have the opportunity to get an education for free.
“The student will come here for three years and major in Math, Chemistry, or Biology, and then they will transfer to our partnering school to pick up that second degree,” says Crumbly.
Johnson says he gained a wider understanding of how the oil industry operates, and he's looking into how he can use his new skills.
“I'm still focusing on the computer engineering aspect of it, and I see myself going into the technology industry and hopefully making a difference,” says Johnson.
Dr. Crumbly was honored for this STEM program in 2011, and coming up this Saturday, they have a ceremony to conclude the program.