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News ReleaseHigh School Students Return to the Classroom with Real Life Work Experience from Air Products

September 11, 2008 Lehigh Valley, Pa.

It was not your typical summer job for ten local high school students who participated in the Summer Intern Program at Air Products. While their friends may have been waiting tables, operating amusement park rides, and ringing up sales, these students spent their summer building instrument panels, conducting sample analyses, testing the performance of photovoltaic solar cells, and much more.

“Seeing my work contribute to Air Products was very meaningful,” said Giancarlos Morales, a 17-year-old senior at Liberty High School. Through his work with the company’s Instrument and Equipment Technology group, Giancarlos gained experience in working with sheet metal, metal tubing, electrical wiring, and a wide variety of specialized hand tools.

Air Products’ Summer Intern Program—which is coordinated through the company’s Technology Diversity Leadership Team—gives high school students who show some promise or interest in science and math a positive work experience in an industrial setting. These students may be “at risk” in terms of acquiring the educational tools needed to be successful in the sciences by virtue of economic, educational, social, or other disadvantage.

“This great program gives hands-on experience to young people who are thinking about a career in science or engineering,” said Monty Alger, vice president and chief technology officer at Air Products. “It’s a two-way learning opportunity. The program also allows us to better understand how Millennials think and act, and how this generation may impact our workplace.”

Air Products’ Summer Intern Program began in 1996 and to date has provided summer employment to 74 local high school students in the areas of technology, manufacturing, research and development, engineering, government contracting, accounting, and information technology. Of these students, several have returned to Air Products as college interns, and two are now full-time employees—one in the company’s Global Engineering Organization and the other in Purchasing Services.

Daniela Santiesteban, who graduated from Saucon Valley High School this past spring, found her internship within the company’s Global Analytical Science department both educational and enlightening. “Listening to experienced and successful employees taught me what paths and decisions I should take in my career to get where I want to be,” commented Daniela, who learned how to use analytical instruments and techniques such as ultra performance liquid chromatography, mass spectrometry, ion chromatography, gel permeation chromatography, and dynamic light scattering.

Candidates for the Summer Intern Program are nominated by representatives—such as a teacher or guidance counselor—from selected area high schools and the Lehigh University S.T.A.R. (Students That Are Ready) Academy Program. Interested nominees complete a short application, and finalists are interviewed at Air Products’ corporate headquarters in Trexlertown.

The Summer Intern Program is an eight to ten week paid internship where students work a normal 40-hour week. These students have supervisors who have volunteered to train them and oversee their work. In addition, the high school students are paired-up with college interns who serve as mentors and can provide them with guidance and advice.

Stephen Yoon, a 17-year-old senior at Freedom High School, performed work in some pretty prominent and exciting fields as an intern in the company’s Electronics Research and Development department. “I was given unprecedented opportunities for a high school student,” said Stephen, who worked on improving electrode performance for photovoltaic solar cells and dielectric properties for integrated circuit devices by testing new designs and comparing them against existing benchmarks. Stephen added, “I’ll never forget the friendships I’ve made here and the help I’ve received from various people at Air Products.”

For more information about Air Products’ Summer Intern Program, contact Frank Petrocelli at 610-481-4111 or  

Air Products (NYSE:APD) serves customers in industrial, energy, technology and healthcare markets worldwide with a unique portfolio of atmospheric gases, process and specialty gases, performance materials, and equipment and services. Founded in 1940, Air Products has built leading positions in key growth markets such as semiconductor materials, refinery hydrogen, home healthcare services, natural gas liquefaction, and advanced coatings and adhesives. The company is recognized for its innovative culture, operational excellence and commitment to safety and the environment. Air Products has annual revenues of $10 billion, operations in over 40 countries, and 22,000 employees around the globe. For more information, visit  

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  • Press Contact
    Debbie Bauer
    Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.
    7201 Hamilton Boulevard
    Allentown, PA 18195-1501
    (610) 481-6642
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