Saturday, November 23, 2013

SF STEM Academy students from International Studies Academy visit the EcoCenter

SF STEM Academy instructor Alyssa Rowatt and 10 students enrolled in the program from the International Studies Academy (ISA) High School on Potrero Hill participated in several programs at the EcoCenter in one very event filled Saturday.  The SF STEM Academy is an education and workforce development program geared towards increasing awareness and interest in careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Led by former LEJ EcoCenter program manager Tracy Zhu together with EcoCenter staff and CCSF students, ISA youth were introduced to the history of Heron's Head Park and the environmental justice issues plaguing the Bayview Hunters Point community.  Study of wetland ecology was coupled with sampling plankton so the organisms could be further studied under the microscope and compared to those found in the EcoCenter's constructed wetland.  The students had a tour of the EcoCenter with opportunities to explore how the wastewater treatment and energy systems work by engaging in hands on activities that included a settling tank demonstration, using a solar panel to power a water fountain, and observing plankton from the bay and the constructed wetland under microscopes.  After a lunch break, students participated in a ethnobotany exercise to learn about the utility of many of our California native plants.

We look forward to these students returning and exploring in greater depth all that the sustainable systems at the EcoCenter have to offer related to STEM related fields and careers. We loved having them!