This summer, high school students and teachers will experience cutting-edge research and hands-on learning in water sciences. WaterWorks, led by Civil and Environmental Engineering assistant professor Michael Dodd, is an innovative series of two free workshops – one for teachers, and one for students – that introduces participants to environmental engineering, water quality and water science. Combining interactive labs, classroom instruction, and field trips linking instruction to engineering practice, WaterWorks provides a fun and learning-filled environment that sparks interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
Students enjoy a packed week of activities with two days of hands-on labs, presentations from department faculty, and three field trips, including tours of Seattle’s water supply and several drinking water and wastewater treatment plants.
“We are aiming to provide students with a hands-on introduction to fundamental principles in environmental engineering and science,” said Dodd. “We’ve set up the workshops to show them in a fun way how we apply these principles every day to provide clean, safe water, so hopefully we can get them excited about being engineers or scientists in their own right.”
In the teacher workshop, the main objective is to equip teachers with knowledge in water quality, science, and engineering, allowing them to teach STEM principles in an applied context.
“The teacher workshop is designed to provide teachers with a primer on various aspects of watershed protection and water treatment, and to help equip them to teach their students about environmental engineering and science by using practical examples in water supply and treatment,” explained Dodd.
Teachers receive lab demonstrations, a field trip to a regional drinking water plant, instructional lectures, a workshop on development of guided inquiry learning activities and labs, and assistance in developing instructional units on environmental engineering and science topics for use in their classes.
WaterWorks represents a unique opportunity for high school students and teachers to learn about environmental engineering through extensive interactions with faculty, students, and practicing engineers at the UW and regional utilities. WaterWorks “gives participants direct and hands-on exposure to important examples of what we do as environmental engineers,” said Dodd. “This is such an exciting field, and presents so many possibilities for rewarding careers. We’re hoping to convey that excitement to our participants, and to get students thinking about the possibility of becoming environmental engineers themselves.”
For more information and to apply for the student or teacher workshop, visit the WaterWorks site.