Left: Will VanGelder, District senior land management specialist, speaks to students at Brooker Elementary School. Right: Lizanne Garcia, Surface Water Improvement and Management senior environmental scientist, teaches students how water moves through a watershed.
More than 1,700 students recently learned about water resources, conservation and water management careers during the Great American Teach-In.
District staff visited 21 schools in six counties during the Teach-In, part of the National Education Association’s 89th American Education Week.
Staff members who took part in the Teach-In are part of the District’s Youth Education Team. The team provides training and coordinates opportunities for staff to make presentations at schools, participate as experts for student and teacher field trips and work at youth-related events within the District.
Brooksville and Tampa office staff talked to students about the water cycle, watersheds and plant and animal habitats. Lizanne Garcia, a senior environmental scientist, brought a watershed model to Hillsborough County’s Hammond Elementary School.
“The watershed model demonstration went great,” said Garcia. “I had fun with the kids, and one student even told my daughter that her mom was awesome!”
“The Teach-In is a great opportunity for water management professionals to help students learn about water and what real-world jobs are like,” said Mary Margaret Hull, District youth education coordinator. “District employees talk about their careers and encourage students to study subject areas they will need to go into these fields.”
District employees go out to the schools and present how different careers — operations, engineering, land management, science, communications — relate back to water.
“It’s a great benefit to the District to have staff in classrooms answering questions about water conservation, drought, sinkholes and other current issues,” said Hull.
If you are a District staff member interested in joining the Youth Education Team, contact Hull at (352) 796-7211, ext. 4774, to find out about training activities.