Liquid News

IRWD Professionals Meet With Students

Seventh and eighth grade students interested in pursuing careers in science and engineering had the opportunity to meet with Irvine Ranch Water District professionals at the Irvine Unified School District’s annual Science Career Options Conference at the University of California, Irvine, on December 18.

Jacob Moeder, a civil engineer for IRWD and Melinda Bergen, an IRWD Water Quality supervisor, spoke to students, explaining the level of education needed to achieve their careers and gave examples of their day-to-day duties.

“Did any of you like building things with Legos, Lincoln Logs or Tinker Toys?” Moeder asked the students. “I always liked building things and taking them apart.”

He described the different engineering disciplines and how it takes a collaborative effort to see projects to fruition. And there is always a demand for engineers, he said.

“Everyone has great ideas,” he said. “It’s like playing with the best football team. It’s gratifying.”

He gave a demonstration on settlement, using two similar plates of sand. He placed equal amount of weight on each one, until one of the piles of sand collapsed under the weight. The other stayed upright. How could that be? A single sheet of toilet paper placed just underneath a layer of sand provided enough tensile strength to keep the weights upright.

Before her demonstration, Bergen handed around IRWD’s annual Water Quality Report, explaining that customers always know what is in their water and that it is safe to drink. A student volunteer assisted in a test that determines the presence of chlorine in a sample of ordinary tap water.

Both Moeder and Bergen fielded questions at the end of their presentations. The goal of the conference is to increase student interest and awareness of science-related careers. IRWD has participated in the IUSD Science Careers Options Conference for all 21 years of its existence.

More information about IRWD educational programs is available on our website.

 
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