As part of the IslandWood Teacher Professional Development in PSESD, 12 teachers met at the King County South Wastewater Treatment Plant in Renton to learn and discuss how humans impact the water cycle in urban environments, how climate change is effecting these systems, and how to better incorporate these complex topics into conversations in the classroom.
This half-day workshop focused on urban water systems (generally stormwater and wastewater), how they work, how climate change models predict they will be impacted, and how they can be integrated into classroom learning. A tour of the urban infrastructure site was included. Sites included the Brightwater Treatment Facility, the South Treatment Plant in Renton, and the Washington Stormwater Center in Puyallup. Co-presenting with King County Wastewater and Washington Stormwater Center staff helped bring the water systems at each site alive and let teachers see how real world scientists are investigating about water system infrastructure. The workshop used a stormwater event as an integrating phenomenon and teachers developed and illustrated their understanding of this phenomenon throughout the day. Teachers spent time with their peers to workshop how the content could be used in the classroom. 97% of responding teachers left with an understanding of how to explain to students their interaction with urban water systems and how they could integrate content about these systems into their curriculum.