Liquid News

IRWD Professionals Encourage Students Toward Science and Engineering Careers

Seventh and eighth graders with interests in science and engineering had the opportunity to hear from IRWD professionals in those fields during the Irvine Unified School District’s annual Science Career Options Conference.  The conference was held at the University of California, Irvine on December 14.

IRWD Water Quality Supervisor Melinda Bergen and engineer Jacob Moeder each made presentations, describing their jobs, the day-to-day work and what education is needed to achieve such careers.

Bergen, dressed in her white laboratory coat and safety glasses, explained that her duties focus on chemistry. She used a student volunteer to demonstrate from a kit how much chlorine was present in a water sample she brought with her. She explained that IRWD’s state-of-the-art Water Quality Lab uses high-tech instrumentation to test samples of both drinking and recycled water.

Moeder, a civil engineer, described the various disciplines of engineering and the types of projects he works on. Using a set of plans as a prop and adding a little humor, he donned “geeky” glasses taped in the middle and handed around an old-fashioned slide rule that belonged to his grandfather.

Bergen and Moeder both said they enjoyed speaking to the students and answering their questions. Giving back to the community is important to IRWD staff. Encouraging students to consider science and engineering as a career helps to accomplish that value.

IRWD has been involved in the IUSD Science Career Options Conference all 19 years of its existence. Approximately 400 students, chosen by their science teachers, attend the conference. The goal of the program is to increase student interest and awareness of science-related careers. In addition to IRWD, professionals from the careers of physics, medicine, medical research, food science, veterinary medicine, wildlife protection, ecology, dentistry, nursing and mechanical engineering participate.

The District has provided free innovative student water education programs since the mid-1970’s. These programs are available to students and teachers from kindergarten through college in any public, private or home school within our service area. From student education programs to resident tours to our exciting education partnerships, IRWD's commitment to community education is boundless.

Contact: Shannon Reed, Public Affairs Manager
reeds@irwd.com, (949) 453-5500 

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