Atlanta Pathway Elements
Pathway ElementsSTEM in Our Park | Engineering Capstone Project | Learning Laboratories | GIS Workshop
Number of Participants: 80 KIPP Ways Academy 8th Graders
The STEM in Our Park block party connected (80) KIPP Ways Academy 8th Graders to geoscience content from our academic partners: Greening Youth Foundation, Georgia Institute of Technology Georgia State University and the Georgia Geography Alliance. The event was held at N Lindsey Street Park on Friday, September 15th. Students learned about the EarthConnections Atlanta Regional Alliance, community water issues and how hopeful we are to develop solutions to environmental problems, as a resilient community. Each partner provided hands-on interactive learning activities that engaged students. Activity stations included topics such as orientering and map reading, plant and tree surveys using I-Tree, soil and air sampling and analysis, and water and environmental education activities.
Students at B.E.S.T. Academy are engaged in an engineering Capstone Project that requires them to evaluate and analyze current issue and problems related to water quality and related health impacts in the Proctor Creek community. Students' research will include collecting field observations and conducting laboratory experiments to evaluate, analyze, and validate observations. The students will engage with key stakeholders.
The Atlanta Alliance has partnered with the Advance Atmospheric Research and Monitoring Station (AARMS) project to create educational and research experiences that include outdoor earth science laboratory, atmospheric research, climate and weather monitoring, and community engagement. Students will be engaged in studies in a "learning laboratory" environment and related exploratory experiences and discoveries.
Dates: August 21, 2018
Number of Participants: 4 Faculty Members 6 Student Representatives
The Atlanta Alliance was working with Clark Atlanta University (CAU) to develop a GIS workshop for local high school students. The GIS lab was not available due to renovations and the faculty met with leaders from the Living Green Club to explore opportunities for supporting community projects. The proposed workshop has been postponed. When the lab is available it will be open to CAU and high school students working on the mapping project. In the interum there is an effort to connect voter canvassing data with community mapping.
The Atlanta Alliances is planning to establish a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program focused on water in geosciences, ecosystem services, and water management. Partners or this project include the West Atlanta Watershed Alliance (WAWA), Clark Atlanta University, Georgia State University and UNAVCO through the Research Experiences in Solid Earth Sciences for Students (RESESS) internship program. This REU program would include efforts to increase geoscience career visibility. The alliance plans to identify and engage with local geoscientists and environmental scientists (e.g. weather people, hydro scientists, etc.) and promote their success stories. In addition, the alliance sees the possibility of working with Clark Atlanta University and local high schools on job exploration linking high school students, undergraduates, and the workforce.
The Atlanta Alliance is planning a Student Interpreter program in conjunction with WAWA's Outdoor Activity Center. This program will engage local students in exploring geosciences through activities and outdoor programming. The alliance plans to incorporate InTeGrate teaching materials for Earth science education as a starting point for activity design.
The Atlanta Alliance helped to promote the National Green Infrastructure Certification Program Exam Training and Exam here in Atlanta. After a two year pilot, the Water Environment Federation (WEF) launched a new national jobs program that provides training and certification in the field of green infrastructure. In coordination with the Georgia Association of Water Professionals, WEF provided a combined National Green Infrastructure Certification Program (NGICP) exam training (required) and credential exam. NGICP sets national certification standards for green infrastructure construction, inspection, and maintenance workers. Successful implementation of green infrastructure requires access to adequately skilled workforce. By underscoring competencies in construction, inspection, and maintenance, certification increases the workforce's competitiveness in the job market, and provides a pathway to higher paying positions. The alliance helped by promoting the workshop to the WAWA community network.
The Atlanta Alliance has partnered with the City of Atlanta's Office of Resiliency to support their regional WorkSource office. As a regional convener, WorkSource Atlanta will transform Atlanta's local hiring initiative, First Source, into a more robust program with improved pipelines to permanent employment and an increased pool of quality candidates for employers. The goal of the First Source program is to fill 50 percent of entry-level jobs for eligible city construction projects with local hires that receive training and support from WorkSource Atlanta. The Atlanta Alliance and WAWA will help develop the training and recruitment processes for jobs relating to water, natural science and environment.
Through WAWA, the Atlanta Alliance has developed partnerships with Spelman College and the Georgia Institute of Technology in the Regional Centres of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development (RCE) of Greater Atlanta. This designation acknowledged by the United Nations University makes Atlanta one of only six Regional Centres of Expertise in the U.S. There are currently 157 RCEs worldwide. RCE Greater Atlanta is a network of multidisciplinary stakeholders, including higher education institutions, businesses, non-governmental organizations, community associations, and local, regional, state and federal government. All RCE partners are committed to developing and advancing a comprehensive approach to sustainable development, focused on implementing the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) across the region. Emory University, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Spelman College are leading the RCE Greater Atlanta for the first two years. The alliance is planning a water, nature science, and environmental job and career fair for the Spring of 2019.
In an effort to institutionalize the Atlanta Alliance pathway map, the alliance is working to reverse engineer K-12 activities by Georgia Institute of Technology students participating in the Serve, Learn, and Sustain program. As a community partner we've engaged students with water and green infrastructure projects. Other short term goals will be facilitating course projects, student internships, and research partnerships, co-hosting speakers and symposia. Planned projects include:
- Water- and Stream-Related Data Analysis - Students will work with existing water data (Big Data) collected by the state. Using this data, students will tell a story about "water quality instead of water quantity" and support the important work of relating distinctions within categories such as "impaired" and "not impaired."
- Develop Environmental Education Short Courses (1-3 hours) - Invitation for students to participate in reviewing activities that will become 3rd, 5th and 9th grade water lessons.
- Water Management and Stormwater Communication Materials for Residents - Communications classes of students to work on refining existing or creating new outreach materials.
- Immersive AR/VR Experience for Stormwater System Design - CS Capstone Students to work on such a program that is a "Choose your Own Adventure" to show what different design decision would really do if implemented.
- Developing a Stormwater Manual - Students to work on this manual and make sections of it more accessible/digestible for diverse audiences