This academic year we’ve been involved in a number of outreach projects. Check them out below!
March 8-9, 2019- Engineering Open House
This year for Engineering Open House (EOH) WEF-AWWA created a watershed model to discuss the various interactions between human and environmental systems that take place within a watershed. This interactive exhibit included pristine snow melt, agricultural demands and pollutants, and sediment and chemical pollutants from construction sites.
February 17, 2018 – Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day
Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day is a day organized by SWE (the Society of Women Engineers) where high school age girls are invited to UIUC and introuced to the various types on engineering. Girls are split up into groups and sent to do learn with a number of different engineering RSOs on campus, which represent each different engineering discipline. The student chapter of WEF-AWWA was chosen to represent Civil Engineering. We had the girls partake in the same activity as the Lego League, but with a couple changes. We split the girls into design teams and had a competition for who designed the best filter (the winners got pieces of candy). We also included corn starch and flour in the materials they could choose from in order to have them think critically about the best materials to use. We talked to the girls about the importance of design teams as an engineering student and professional, and explained how the activity related to water resources and environmental engineering.
November 2, 2017 – First Lego League
The First Lego League is designed to introduce young students to STEM concepts through having them work on a themed design project. This year’s theme was related to water, so the student chapter of WEF-AWWA visited a home-school classroom of students aged 3-6 and talked to them about two water resource topics – natural filtration of water and waste water treatment. To introduce them to the filtration of water, we had them build their own water filters using coffee filters, rocks, sand, and cotton balls. The we poured dirty water through the filters and got to see what worked best and what didn’t. We explained that this filtration happens right underneath their feet. In the next activity we had the kids form five groups, each representing a water treatment plant process. We filled a bucket with different colored balls or crinkled construction paper, and had each treatment process remove a specific color of paper until there was only blue, clean “water” left.