Science Wednesday: Summer Science

Each week we write about the science behind environmental protection. Previous Science Wednesdays.

About the author: Darius Davis is a summer intern in Cincinnati, Ohio.

I recently graduated from Withrow University High School and plan to attend Ohio State University in Columbus, OH in the fall of 2008. I will be studying Chemical Engineering with a minor in Pharmacy.

This is my second year interning at EPA through the black employment program. I feel that this program has not only opened up many opportunities for me, but allowed me to get a hands-on experience in the science field. The last two years I have worked in two different areas at the EPA. The first year, which was my junior year in high school, I worked with microbiology and this year with drinking water. While in the microbiology area, I worked and did experiments with E.coli bacteria. The name of this experiment was UV Disinfection on E. coli Bacteria. I really enjoyed working in this area because there were many chemicals involved and we used a lot of different machinery in order to carry out the experiment. This year with drinking water was also very interesting. I was able to work with a database and observe a lot about the copper pipes, which were sent in from various locations throughout the country. I was then able to make reports about the pipes and what we observed from them. The objective was to figure out why the water that ran through these pipes were forming holes in the pipe and what could be done to prevent the holes from forming within the pipe. While at EPA, I was also acknowledged for my once in a lifetime achievement of receiving the Gates Millennium Scholarship. This scholarship covers ten years of my college education through my doctoral degree at the college of my choice with ALL expenses paid, including one year of study abroad.

I feel that working at the EPA really broadened my horizons on what all goes into making the environment a better place to live. This experience also made me more confident with studying the sciences when I attend college. Anyone who is ever offered an opportunity like this one should definitely take advantage of it, because in the end it will all be worth it!

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