Monday, December 2, 2013

How did everyone feel about our conference kick-off?

Just had our conference kick-off and the kids retained a lot of valuable information about the water industry of Milwaukee. Here are a few posts from our College Project Managers, about the kids that they are working with and how they are enjoying the our program.

       "I have learned that thirty-eight water technology companies have headquarters in Wisconsin, and five of the 11 largest water companies in the world have operations here. “This concentration of water industry leaders has bolstered Wisconsin’s reputation for sustainable leadership and helped make the Wisconsin-based Water Council a global authority on advanced water technology development and deployment” (inwisconsin). I have learned that we have a resource like no one else has and that there is a demand for fresh water.
      I think learning about rain barrels, rain gardens, and community clean ups will impact my teams project because it shows how we can find more ways to conserve water by using a rain barrel rather to capture the rain rather than filling up buckets of water from our sinks. It could make my team realize the amount of water that we use and be more cautious in the way that we use it.
       We have not yet been put into groups, but I have looked over a few of the projects that students have done in the past and I do see a connection between community cleanup and my life. I feel like we are all responsible to keep our environment clean and it is great for all of us to participate in a community cleanup every once in a while. I also see how the rain barrels can be a great tool to use when we need to water a garden. I think that is a great idea so that we do not use freshwater.
         My reaction to the kickoff conference was that it was such a great experience. I was able to meet many of the other students that participate in Lead To Succeed and see how dedicated they were to show up and learn more about water companies throughout Wisconsin. I really enjoyed the workshops that were set up and my favorite part was getting to walk around and get to listen to the speakers that work with a company that deal with water. I was also able to talk to professors that teach students about water and I found it interesting that he brought a visual to show everyone."
        -Taylor Ansay (YMCA)

"I have been to Bayview High School around four times now and I am really starting to enjoy it! We still haven’t gotten fully into the project yet, since a lot of the students keep switching each week we have meetings, but we are finally starting to narrow it down to some of the regulars. Last week the students discovered that water is made in basically every type of food, which was very interesting to them! They had to make a list of their favorite foods and determine how water is incorporated with them! For example, one girl wrote down chicken wings and they weren’t exactly sure on how water was incorporated in them until we started from the very early stages. This is what the chickens would drink, which is water! So overall it was just really interesting to see how excited the students were when they discovered that water really is used for everything!
Another exciting experience is that on Saturday we had the official kickoff Conference where the students from all around Milwaukee who are in the Lead to Succeed program came to the UWM campus! When they first got there we had free pizza, drinks, and t-shirts! While being at the conference, the students learned about different jobs in the water industry, how to be professional, about their personal logos and much more! It was an exciting, fun filled day for everyone and I am lucky that I got to be part of it! It was awesome to see how excited the students were to see what their futures are full of and also to hear their awesome ideas! Overall, I think that it was a great start to kickoff Lead to Succeed and I am excited to see where the rest of the semester will take us, learning about water and watching their projects evolve."  
-Amanda Olejiniczak (Bayview Highschool)

"Do you ever get that jarring sensation when you suddenly get a glimpse of another perspective that is alien to your own? I have been passionate about water resources, conservation and hydrology for so long that it was refreshing to see how students are introduced to the different aspects of some of my favorite subjects. Since I haven’t really figured out what exactly I want to do with my hydrology/conservation degree, it was enlightening to hear about the career paths of the various professionals in the water industry that were invited to speak at the conference. I had the opportunity to speak with an engineer and a geologist who had worked on the Milwaukee Deep Tunnel project, which I would have loved to be part of!
As of right now, our group still hasn't pinned down the project we will focus on, but hopefully the Kickoff Conference gave them some good ideas. Most of the Milwaukee professionals who spoke to the students were enthusiastic about their careers, which I think makes more of a difference to high school students than the actual careers themselves.  I’ll admit that I caught a few napping during the breakout sessions (it was warm in the room and right after lunch), but the kids seemed to absorb the information they were given about the jobs available in the water industry, tips for being professional and the importance of taking an active leadership role in your community.  In particular, they really enjoyed the community service Jeopardy game.
The students in our group at WCLL are great! They were respectful and seemed interested in the variety of jobs that were available in Wisconsin’s water industry. I can’t wait to get started on their project."
-Charlene Rogers (WCLL)