Writing Contest Winners 2014-2015

Honorable Mention, Grades 3-5

Elise Ferguson
Grade 5, St. Mary of the Hills School, Milton
Mrs. Etienne, Teacher

Making a Difference in My Community with S.T.E.M.

Water, water... we all need water! We all want to live in a city or town where people are happy, healthy, and comfortable. Many of us take for granted that when we turn on the kitchen faucet, we will be able to get a glass of water. We also take for granted that we when flush our toilets or turn on our showers, that the water goes where it is supposed to go. Having a safe, clean, and consistently accessible water supply is a huge factor in keeping people happy and healthy.

As a wastewater engineer, it is my job to help in providing my community with clean water and to monitor the safety of our water. Some of my responsibilities include actually using the subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math within my daily job. As a waste water engineer, I can help design and engineer solutions to protect our town from flooding rains and water. I can assist in testing our town's water supply to ensure that it is safe to drink. I can also assist in choosing the best place within the town to build a new water treatment facility. Our newest town project is creating a community sprinkler park which will be both fun and encourage water conservation for the community.

I am often asked by family and friends, "Why did you want to be a wastewater engineer?"

I knew growing up that I wanted to help people and make a difference in my community. Using a variety of technology, science, engineering, and math skills is fun and exciting! What better way to combine all of those subjects into one job. It's a great feeling to use the skills you have and enjoy and at the same time be able to contribute to the happiness and health of the community in which I live. Being able to help develop state of the art equipment and actually seeing it be put into use within my community is also enjoyable.

There is nothing better than seeing a water conservation project, like the community sprinkler park, come to life! It is such a rewarding experience. I am also often asked, "Where can I find out more information about becoming a wastewater engineer?" I tell students to look on the Internet and look up your local water environmental agency or your local water utility company. People in this field, like myself, have a mission in life to clean up the environment and they want everyone to see what they have to offer.

Classrooms are also a good place to learn more about wastewater engineering. Science experiments around water conservation or finding out where our own drinking water comes from in your community are always interesting and fun projects!

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