Texas Students Learn About Groundwater Through NGWA Collaboration
Over the last decade, edtech companies have been experimenting with innovative ways to use technology for career readiness and exploration. Thankfully, several of these companies are getting it right and are really doing a great job of helping school districts prepare their students for their future careers. Let’s find out how one company is using edtech to connect teachers and students with industry experts, who in turn help students better understand and apply what they are learning in their classrooms.
How Nepris is leading the way
Students and teachers in Texas are getting a close-up look at groundwater issues and careers thanks a program the National Ground Water Association began collaborating on this year.
In an effort to encourage students from kindergarten to 12th grade to consider future careers in groundwater science, NGWA is partnering with Nepris. Nepris virtually connects teachers and students with industry experts for education outreach to bring relevance and application to what students are learning.
Thanks to the partnership, several teachers from Texas were able to connect with various groundwater professionals both virtually and in person to discover more about groundwater issues and how to transfer that knowledge to their students.
Teachers in Waco and surrounding rural communities participated in a grant to work directly with industry partners to research how the fields of math, computer science, and various career and technical education (CTE) areas overlap, and how those skills can be applied to the workplace. In addition, teachers learned what content and soft skills they need to reinforce in grades 9 through 12 to support students after they graduate.
Two teachers spent time with Robin Gray, the senior public information and education coordinator at the Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District, headquartered in Austin. The teachers participated in experiments and discovered more about groundwater and the issues affecting it through “Tour de Tap” experiments, comparing conductivity for tap water, groundwater, and rainwater.
Earlier in July, teachers participated in a virtual presentation with Robert P. Schreiber, PE, BCEE, D.WRE, a vice president with CDM Smith in Boston, Massachusetts, who serves on the NGWA Board of Directors.
During his presentation, Schreiber emphasized the importance of math as a critical skill for the work of groundwater professionals. He suggested there is a need “to increase and enhance the connections between STEM-related professionals and the teachers teaching STEM subjects and their students” and added “given the retirement of many STEM-related professionals over the next few years, a vacuum is being created that needs to be filled.” His full presentation can be viewed online.
Teachers will soon visit Christopher Braun and his team at the Texas Water Science Center of the U.S. Geological Survey to tour the facility.
“I have been incredibly impressed with the number of groundwater experts who answered the call to work with teachers,” Nepris Business Development Manager Stasi Gaveras told NGWA. “The teachers were very excited to learn more about the skills needed to be successful in various groundwater career fields.”
Other firms participating in the grant are Texas Instruments, General Motors, AT&T, KLRU (public television in Austin), and RPK Designs (graphic design).
The Nepris platform virtually connects teachers and students with experts without having to spend much planning time or leaving the classroom. It provides an effective way for companies and employers to extend education outreach and create equity of access.
Would you like students to know about opportunities and skills needed for your area of groundwater application? You can do so by creating a profile at Nepris.com and putting “NGWA” in the affiliations bar. You will receive recommendations to connect with classrooms based on the skills you enter.
This article was originally published on the website of the National Ground Water Association at www.NGWA.org. It is reprinted with the permission of NGWA.