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Students from the Thurston County Juvenile Court attended an environmental workshop led by Sam Nadell, watershed educator with the Thurston County Conservation District on December 13th, 2019. The workshop was part of a weekly local environmental workshop or field experience series that is coordinated by Rachel Stendahl with Capital Region ESD 113.

The students gained a basic understanding of culverts and other barriers to salmon migration along with the basic mechanisms of bridge building. The students were then tasked with an engineering design challenge. They worked in teams to create bridges that could span a certain length and hold the most weight. The students had a wide variety of bridge building materials and experimented with weight versus strength requirements, carefully planning their innovative designs. The students won prizes for strongest bridges and most creative design.

The students left the workshop with a greater understanding of habitat requirements for salmon and ideas to improve habitat access. They also gained an understanding of some jobs associated with habitat improvement and what a Conservation District does. The teamwork and creativity showcased in the workshop was unparalleled.