Thursday, March 31, 2016

Technology to Create Future Leaders

by Anthony Lowndes, The Groundwater Foundation

Technology is nearly impossible to avoid. It is in our cars, homes and hands. It is also found in most sectors of the water industry for data collection and analysis, information distribution and overall ensuring the safe delivery of drinking water to communities. With jobs in the water industry expected to turn over at high rates in the near future, the need to inform and prepare students for these positions is vital. This is one of the reasons The Groundwater Foundation strives to incorporate technology into its educational resources as much as possible.

For example, the 30by30 app provides an interactive way track personal water use and the Water1der app challenges your water IQ through trivia and games. The use of technology was taken a step further by incorporating computer groundwater flow modeling into a Science Olympiad event. The event, called Hydrogeology, requires a thorough knowledge of the principles of groundwater and challenges competitors to apply the results calculated in the computer model to realistic groundwater contamination remediation situations.
After two years as a trial event, Hydrogeology was accepted as a full event for high school students following the 2015 National Tournament. Use of the computer model in Science Olympiad has carried groundwater education to over 4000 students in 27 different states. With several regional and state level tournaments using Hydrogeology in April and the National Tournament in May, the number will continue to grow.

Over half of the U.S. population relies on groundwater for drinking water. The Groundwater Foundation continues to strive in building the leaders of tomorrow through engaging activities that incorporate the use of technology, such as the Hydrogeology Challenge, and help prepare students for careers in the water industry.

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