In the Spotlight
Educators Visit Local Workplaces: City of Lebanon Waste Water Plant
On Wednesday, October 15, 2008, twelve Upper Valley employers welcomed over 20 local teachers to their worksites. Teachers saw firsthand how the skills they are teaching play out in the workplace while exploring local resources and developing curriculum ideas to bring back to their school.

Workplaces hosting tours included: AVA Gallery, Co-op Food Stores Graphic Design Department, Co-op Food Stores Dietician, Dartmouth Dining Services, Dartmouth Printing Company, Hypertherm, Lebanon Waste Water Plant, Northern Stage, Saint Gaudens National Historic Site, Stryker Biotech, Sweet Spot Digital and Tele Atlas.
One of the many interesting site tours offered was the City of Lebanon Waste Water Plant adjacent to the Connecticut River in West Lebanon. The tour, led by Don Schagen, explored how water is collected in the Mascoma Reservoir, transported naturally by the Mascoma River to pumping stations along the river – from where water is diverted to homes and businesses. Then residential and business waste is combined with storm water drainage, which flows by gravity in underground pipes (or by pump when going over a hill) to the wastewater treatment center. Our local water treatment center sends waste or sludge through a four-step process that removes large debris and small particulate matter, then bacteria is added to the sludge, which decomposes the organic material. After the bacteria brakes down the organic material, the bacteria are removed, and finally the water is disinfected and tested before being released into the Connecticut River.

The information and resources Mr. Schagen shared leads to many potential classroom lessons: mapping projects, environmental lessons relating to river chemistry, and laboratory chemistry and biology experiments that mimic those happening at the wastewater treatment site.

Following all of the workplace tours, educators gathered together at Stryker Biotech in West Lebanon for sharing and discussion of their experiences. Participants generated tangible ideas for integrating what they discovered into their classrooms. In response to evaluation questions, 100% said they would participate in Educator in the Workplace again and recommend it to their colleagues. One teacher said the event was an “amazing opportunity to access community learning and career options” for students.

 

Thank you to the following EITW 2008 workplace hosts:

AVA Gallery
Co-op Food Stores
Dartmouth Dining Services
Dartmouth Printing Company
Hypertherm
Lebanon Waste Water Plant

Northern Stage
Tele Atlas
St. Gaudens
Stryker Biotech
Sweet Spot Digital

 

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