Posted Date: 08/24/2017
AUSTIN, TX (August 25, 2017)—Copperas Cove High School math teacher Donna Brewer waded deep into the water up to her waist. She studied the aquifer at Barton Springs and knew she could take this information back to her classroom and utilize it as educational opportunities for her students.
CCISD teachers are required to spend a large majority of their summer enrolled in professional development opportunities that will enrich their instruction in the classroom. Brewer was accepted for an externship with Region 12 Education Service Center and received her professional development with three different water organizations: United States Geological Survey, Texas Water Development Board, and Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District.
“Besides the obvious, conserve water, I learned a lot about the history of water in the area, how to determine where the water came from including rain water, tap water, spring water, etcetera, ways they measure the amount of water we have available which is important during a drought, and the equipment used and how to use it,” Brewer said. “We also did an experiment to find the velocity of the current using oranges and a mango and compared our velocity found with the equipment's velocity found in the same current. We were very close with our velocities. This is something I can replicate in the classroom. Rain water filling an aquifer as the spring is flowing is another example.”
Brewer said there is a lot of information on the websites of the different water organizations geared towards teachers and the classroom.
“My students will benefit by having lessons that are more real life and related to things and situations that affect them,” Brewer said. “I plan to use the information shared with me by the different water departments to help students not only use the math, but understand why we have to conserve water and what they can do to help.”
Through the externship, Brewer met virtually as well as in person with many different large businesses to learn things may be students were lacking when joining the workforce and what the school district can do to help.
“To my surprise, it wasn't academics that most businesses said students were lacking. It was more of the soft skills like how to talk to a boss, how to talk to other people, how to collaborate
with others, how to work together, conflict resolution, assertiveness, passion, attentiveness, flexibility, honesty, motivation, etcetera,” Brewer said.
School starts for students on Aug. 28.
PHOTO COURTESY OF NATIONAL GROUNDWATER ASSOCIATION.