WSU Environmental Finance Center's Work in Water Experience teaches Kansas high school students about the critical role that public water utilities fill in their community. This unique, hands-on learning program allows students to see first-hand the skills, technology, and people that are working to ensure the public has access to safe, healthy drinking water and water recycling resources.
This educational program, designed by WSU Environmental Finance Center as part of the Careers in Water Stewardship project, aims to increase young people's knowledge of the importance of water treatment for the environment and public health, and to stimulate interest in occupations in environmental water management.
The Work in Water Experience provides students with an interactive series of learning modules that teach the journey of a water molecule, from precipitation and percolation to treatment and delivery, and, eventually, back to evaporation. The two-hour course includes creative visual cues, like using a drinking straw to “pump” orange soda from a cup of crushed ice, an imaginative way to demonstrate pumping groundwater. The experience also includes a live tour of a municipal water treatment plant and water reclamation facility.
WSU Environmental Finance Center's Work in Water Experience has provided interactive classroom lessons to 13 Kansas high schools and more than 200 students.
The Work in Water Internship Program allows students to gain valuable, on-the-job experience while working at their community's drinking water treatment plant and water reclamation facility. This unique, paid, summer internship program allows students to network with water industry professionals, take part in public service and career development opportunities, and build transferable skills such as problem-solving, teamwork, and effective communication.
2016 Work in Water Intern
Lorraine Lowry, El Dorado High School Alumni, City of El Dorado Public Works
2017 Work in Water Interns
Ricky Norval, Ottawa High School, City of Ottawa Public Works
Bryce Wiggins, Ottawa High School, City of Ottawa Public Works
Amanda Currie, Garden City High School, City of Garden City Public Works - View Amanda's Capstone Presentation
Miguel Tovar, Heights High School, City of Wichita Public Works - View Miguel's Capstone Presentation
Connor Smith, St. Mary's Colgan High School, City of Pittsburg Public Works - Watch Connor's Work in Water Capstone Video
City of Pittsburg Work in Water Intern Connor Smith's capstone project highlights what he learned during his summer internship working at the drinking water treatment and water reclamation facility.
Our Work in Water Program was designed to be shared and continued by communities and public works departments across Kansas who are looking to promote the public water industry. Would you like to bring a water education program to your community? Our program framework can help.
Here are some resources for you to use:
*If you would like to use our PowerPoint template for your own presentation, contact us. We would be happy to email the PowerPoint file to you.
Project steering committee partners include the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Kansas Municipal Utilities, the Kansas Section of American Water Works Association, the Kansas Section of Water and Environment, City of El Dorado, City of Wichita, City of Ottawa, City of Garden City and City of Pittsburg, Kansas. (Funding provided by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Education Grant)
WSU Environmental Finance Center