HCWA hosts Henry County teachers for Rain to Drain workshops
A dozen teachers from Henry County Schools received an up-close look at their water utility, which provides real-world, applied uses of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) curricula that can assist them with teaching their students.
This invitation for teachers to utilize the resources of the Henry County Water Authority (HCWA) to complement their classroom lessons and activities comes annually during the “Rain to Drain” teacher workshops, which the utility hosted during the week of June 17-20.
“The Rain to Drain workshops were definitely mind-expanding and filled with useful information that will assist in helping to make real-world connections, suitable for many grade levels in multiple subject areas,” says Cheryl Hinton, Fourth Grade Teacher at Oakland Elementary School, who participated in this year’s Rain to Drain Workshops.
For four consecutive days, the Henry County educators toured a different HCWA facility, while participating in activities that can translate to the classroom.
First, the teachers gathered at the HCWA headquarters to learn the ins and outs of the Authority’s Engineering Division, which oversees the process of residential, commercial and industrial developments obtaining water and sewer services. In addition, the Authority shared details of its GIS data collection capabilities, the process for installing water meters, the water loss and leak detection program, and more.
On Tuesday, the Rain to Drain participants toured the HCWA Tussahaw Water Treatment Plant, which is a previous Plant of the Year Award winner (as the best operated water plant in the state) as judged by the Georgia Association of Water Professionals (GAWP). They received a tour and thorough explanation of water production and distribution processes. Another highlight of this day was a drinking water taste test and a compelling case made for the benefits of tap water over bottled water.
The third day of the annual workshops took the Henry County teachers to the Walnut Creek Wastewater Plant, which also is a past GAWP Plant of the Year Award recipient, most recently in 2017. After receiving a plant tour, the teachers saw a demonstration of the HCWA camera truck and industrial monitoring program, in addition to participating in activities such as the FOG (fats, oils and grease) Relay, which is a hit with kids of all ages.
Finally, the Rain to Drain workshops concluded with a visit to the HCWA Cubihatcha Outdoor Education Center – the hub of public education and outreach programming at the Authority, as well as a popular site for outdoor recreation. Among the activities and demonstrations offered by the Cubihatcha staff were Adopt-A-Stream monitoring, as well as watershed protection and stormwater pollution prevention, with help from Henry County’s Stormwater Management Department.
“I hope the teachers who participated are inspired to engage their students in water-based learning experiences, to teach their students the importance of being good stewards of our water resources, and to introduce their students to the career opportunities the Water Authority offers,” says Heather Toliver, Science Teacher on Special Assignment with Henry County Schools. “I’m confident that we accomplished these goals, since all of the feedback from teachers indicated that they were ready to infuse water into their instruction.”
Chris Wood, Ph.D.
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Lindsey Sanders, HCWA Environmental Compliance Coordinator
O: 678-583-3809 or M: 410-608-1389 or E: firstname.lastname@example.org