Area high school students team with SRWMD to learn about water resources through the Florida Learns STEM program
LIVE OAK, FL, July 11, 2013 – The Suwannee River Water Management District (District) teamed up with two local high schools this summer to teach students about techniques to manage and protect water resources as part of the Florida Learns Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Scholars Program.
Five students in the classes of Paige Thomas, of Madison County, and Janice Grant, of Trenton High School, shadowed District staff for eight days. Students practiced using survey equipment to set temporary benchmarks in a floodplain to learn about the minimum flows and levels (MFLs) process; they observed agricultural best management practices at several local farms; and they took a field trip to various construction sites to understand the importance of the District’s environmental resource permitting program.
Other learning experiences included: a demonstration of the capabilities of geographic information system (GIS) software to understand how the software is used as a tool to manage water resources; a visit to various District lands to experience land management for water resource protection, and to learn about public use and recreation opportunities; a field trip to assist with the installation of technology used in monitoring water levels; and a visit to Poe Springs Park to measure water flow and take water quality samples in the spring run.
“I’ve learned a lot about how the District manages land and water resources and tries to preserve the environment. I’ve also learned a lot about job opportunities in STEM fields at the District,” said Easton Sapp, of Trenton High School.
Daniel Crane, another Trenton High student said, “I learned a lot about the workings of the District. It was interesting to see the variety of occupations working together for one goal. The field experiences were interesting, educational, and fun.”
The students developed a video detailing their experiences that was presented to the District’s Governing Board on July 9.
“The District is thrilled to have an opportunity to expose students the role that science, technology, engineering, and mathematics play in the protection of water resources, and to help generate interest in careers in these fields,” said District Executive Director Ann Shortelle.
Florida Learns STEM program is designed to show gifted and talented students how STEM disciplines are used in the workplace.
From left: Dave Dickens, District bureau manager of the Administrative Services Division; Paige Thomas, teacher from Madison High School; Konstience Jones, student from Madison High School; Jonathan Robinson, student from Bell High School; Daniel Crane, student from Trenton High School; Easton Sapp, student from Trenton High School; Janice Grant, teacher from Trenton High School; and Jon Dinges, District assistant executive director. Not pictured: Kammeron Joseph, student from Madison High School.