Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) is a hot topic in education and the water industry certainly relies on these essential skills to keep it in operation! STEM skills have allowed the water industry to develop and improve over hundreds of years; allowing for huge advances in public health and improvements in economic prosperity.
During Science Week, Affinity Water’s Education team celebrated this year’s theme of “change” with several local schools. They took the opportunity to highlight some of the positive ‘changes’ that have happened in the water industry in the past, as well as focusing on some simple and powerful ‘changes’ that young people can make with their water related behaviours.
Some schools took part in the ‘Rolling Rivers’ day where they explored where our water comes from and the need for careful catchment management on the interactive river model, visited the Clay Lane water treatment work facility to see how water is treated, and made ‘water saving promises’ to help make a positive change and protect our precious water resources. Others explored designing and making water treatment processes and transportation systems through ‘hands-on’ scientific experiments during the ‘Wonderful Water’ days and ‘STEM Water Challenge’ day.
Feed back from the schools has been fantastic. Recent teachers’ comments included: “The children were thoroughly engaged during their workshop. It was great to see them working collaboratively and thinking scientifically and creatively” and “The workshop provided a great opportunity to explore concepts from the STEM subjects and put these into practice. The students embraced their challenge with questioning minds and enthusiasm”.
Much of the Education Team’s work has focused on helping young people to make the links between the theory they learn in school and the practical challenges in the world of work; and inspiring future generations to value and protect our water resources. What positive changes will our future scientists and engineers make? How will our water resources be managed in the future? This year, Science Week has certainly been a great way of encouraging young people to make a positive ‘watery’ change!