OCWD Inspires Future STEM Professionals
OCWD Engineer Ben Smith recently presented to 400 seventh grade students at Walker Junior High School in La Palma over the course of two days. The first day was dedicated to providing information to the students about the District and the science of water treatment/filtration. The second day involved students creating and testing water filters and their filtrate. One team of students successfully treated influent with 1,000+ NTU (turbidity) down to 0.66 NTU. The filters consisted of gravel, sand, napkins, coffee filters, and cotton balls.
In 2014, Ben was invited by the ASCE Orange County chapter to a grant meeting at Chapman University. One of the purposes of the grant was to connect junior and high school teachers with engineering and science professionals with the intent that the teachers could bring more real-world learning activities into their classrooms. As a follow up, teachers from Walker Junior School invited Ben to come to the school to enhance their teaching about water. This is the second year Ben has participated in the activity with this school.
OCWD supports STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education. “These subjects are important and applied at multiple levels of society. When students are able to perform experiments and work with outside professionals in the classroom, they enhance their understanding of the subject matter and will be motivated to enter technical career fields,” says Ben Smith.