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Five High School Students Complete Dual-Credit Introductory Water Resources Course

July 23, 2015

The Center for Water and the Environment (CWE) offered the first semester of a new dual-enrollment course, Introduction to Sustainability and Water Resources Engineering (CE-160L-004), during the Spring 2015 semester. The CWE team developed the course to provide an introduction to water-resources and environmental issues while increasing the participation of underrepresented minorities in STEM professions.

five high school studentsThe course fulfills an introductory course for first-year Civil Engineering students at UNM and is available at no cost to APS juniors and seniors that have completed the necessary prerequisites (Algebra I plus either Physics, Chemistry or Environmental Science). Students earn both high school and university credit with successful completion of the course. Funding for the course is provided by the CWE’s National Science Foundation Centers of Research Excellence in Science and Technology (CREST) grant.

Five students completed the course in Spring 2015. It was taught in one of the computer labs at the APS Career Enrichment Center campus. Stephanie Moore taught the course and worked with Dr. Kerry Howe, Dr. Mark Stone and Dr. John Stormont to develop the course curriculum; Diana Baltazar was the Teacher’s Assistant for the AutoCAD portion of the course, with support from Michael Gonzales.

In the classroom, the students learned about the hydrologic cycle and water budgets, watershed basics, water quality, groundwater, surface water, water treatment, AutoCAD, and STEM careers. They had an introduction to AutoCAD and used it to create basic plan images of the Saratoga Arroyo site.

The students went on several field trips to provide further interaction with the local water resources community, learn about how scientists and engineers find solutions to typical water-resources problems, and gain exposure to a variety of STEM careers and educational options. Sharon Sivinski of the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority (ABCWUA) led the students on a tour of the Southside Water Reclamation Plant. The students also toured all four Civil Engineering laboratories at UNM and got to meet several faculty and students of the CE Department and CWE. 

After the introductory tour of the UNM CE facilities, students returned to the Open Channel Hydraulics Laboratory to observe the on-going design process for the Saratoga Arroyo (funded by Southern Sandoval County Arroyo Flood Control Authority – SSCAFCA). Students got to work with Adrienne Martinez (Lab Manager) and Dr. Stone to design and test a basic stormwater water treatment device.

The first semester of this course was small but successful. The CWE team is working with APS staff to advertise the course and hopefully recruit more students for the Fall 2015 and future semesters.

Information about how to sign up for the Fall 2015 course is available here:
http://cec-eca-aps-nm.schoolloop.com/cms/page_view?d=x&piid=&vpid=1383372891362