Watershed, rain gardens and runoffs, oh my! With today’s spring-like temperatures and the snow melting quickly, it is a perfect time for our Freshmen Saints to address the topic of flooding and puddles. As part of their STEM curriculum, the students were charged with identifying an area on the STA campus that struggles from surface runoff issues and then asked to develop a viable solution to said issue.
They began by researching watersheds with Google Earth and an online ArcGIS application by which they delineated the STA watershed and looked at surface runoff issues in the area. After identifying a runoff area, students worked in groups to resolve the issue. As part of their studies, they again relied on ArcGIS (a geographic information system that is used for creating and using maps) and clinometers (which allowed them to measure the angle of various hills on the STA campus.) Having a firm understanding of soil properties and textures also helped students as they prepared to discuss the drainage properties of different soil types.
The end result was a variety of panel presentations where students presented to an audience of “stakeholders,” individuals who (after hearing each presentation) decided whether or not to invest in the project proposal. This posed a formidable task for the investors as each presentation proposed responsible, viable and cost efficient remedies for an ongoing, real issue.
Well done, STEM Students! #saintspride