Work in Water KS


The Work in Water Experience

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 Classroom Experience

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. 

Work in Water Experience

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 Paid Internship

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


Work in Water Internship

City of Wichita Work in Water Intern, MIguel Tovar, conducts a sample for industrial wastewater compliance reporting during his summer 2017 internship program.

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.

Create Your Own Work in Water Experience

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.

Other Hands-On Water Activities


AWWA Career Center

The AWWA Career Center provides job search options, easier ways to connect water industry job seekers and employers, and features such as email alerts of relevant opportunities for job seekers, ability to post resumes anonymously, free resume critique, and more. careercenter.awwa.org



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)



Tonya Bronleewe

Tonya Bronleewe
Program Manager
WSU Environmental Finance Center
(316) 978-6638




PNG Image