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News from the Education Foundation

Posted: December 16, 2013

ABCWUA Presentations Connect Students to STEM Standards In An Entertaining Way

The Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority partnership provides a variety of activities and science enhancements for students through wastewater reclamation, groundwater protection, and water conservation presentations.

ABCWUA Education Coordinator Sharon Sivinski presents to John Adams 6th graders on wastewater reclamation.

ABCWUA Education Coordinator Sharon Sivinski presents to John Adams 6th graders on wastewater reclamation.

Education Coordinator Sharon Sivinski most recently spoke to Megan Lemmons’ 6th grade science class at John Adams MS about wastewater reclamation.  The Water Authority reaches an average of 600 classrooms each year.  APS Science Coordinator Suzanne Johnson was invited to attend the hands-on presentation to see how this Join-a-School partnership augments the science curriculum.    

Students were attentive and engaged throughout the class period, after a smattering of giggles when Ms. Sivinski talked about all the things that impact groundwater, including raw sewage or “poo.”  Her candor in answering the students questions and the evident preparation by the teacher quickly created a focused and “scientific research” type of atmosphere for the hands on activity, which included adding a variety of substances to a glass of water, letting them settle and then separating the contents.  Students could readily see how contaminants are removed and clean water is returned to the river. 

Students listened attentively as Ms. Sivinski  used the inquiry method to show students the danger in flushing plastics or trash down the toilet and how rainwater carries those same items and trash from the street into the river. 

In addition to presentation, the ABCWUA provides puppet shows for grades K-3 aligned with standards and benchmarks.  The ABCWUA website provides water related materials like books, poster and videos that are level appropriate and cover water conservation and groundwater protection.

RIO field trips are held on Mondays for 2-3 classes of fourth graders.  Ms. Sivinski recently met with Ms. Johnson to discuss an initiative to take all 4th graders on a field trip to the Rio Grande.   Currently 84 classes are scheduled for the trip. 

Teachers can schedule tours of the Southside Wastewater Reclamation plant as well.  All information is available  on the website at