Far left: Student “reporters” take part in a skit that shows them what it’s like to work in the District’s Communications Department. Center: Chan Springstead, planner, taught students not to be a water pig. Right: Jason Mickel, senior planner, shows students the role planners play in managing the District’s water resources.
With 14 interactive educational displays, students between the ages of 9 and 18 spent the day learning about a variety of careers at the District.
Among the more unique exhibits was the Information Resources Department’s “Bat Cave,” which provided a tour of the District Headquarters’ computer facilities. The students followed one another into the dark, cold room, lit with multicolored lights, hardware displays and dragon-themed décor, to view the consoles used to monitor more than 450 systems that support District applications and store the agency’s information. The tour ended in the training room with a game of Jeopardy to test the students on information they learned.
In addition, Land Resources depicted a traditional campsite with elements such as a horse trailer, tent, picnic table, kayaks, mountain bikes, horse saddles and a fire ring. The students fished from a pond and enjoyed grilled hot dogs while learning about different recreational opportunities available on District lands.
Students also had the opportunity to act out a variety of roles including Governing Board member, executive director, communications director, scientist, and newspaper reporters and photographers in a mock press conference focusing on the three-year drought. Participants learned how the Communications Department interacts with the media and public. They also learned about the drought and how it affects people and the environment.
At the end of the day, the kids voted for their favorite department activity, which earned the “Kids Choice Award.” This year’s vote went to the Finance Department’s “Save Water, Save Cash” activity. In return for answering questions about saving water, students entered a booth full of money and had a limited time to collect as much as they could to spend at a prize table.
Among the many participants were several familiar faces.
“My daughter Alanah has attended this event the last three years and, without exception, has found each year more exciting and fun,” said Doug Sanders, District planner. “It has enabled her to see many fields of work at the District that many of us who work here don’t have an opportunity to see.”
This year’s event focused on empowering the youth to conserve water. The children who shadowed their parent or guardian received a conservation yard sign to take home to encourage their community to save water.