As a community surrounded by water, the City of Everett has a unique opportunity to highlight the importance of preventing stormwater pollution from reaching our rivers and streams.
Mayor Carlo DeMaria said, “I want to thank the Mystic River Watershed, Exelon and the Everett Public schools for raising awareness of our beautiful waterfront and educating our kids on the importance of our local environment. Stormwater is the leading cause of pollution in our rivers and streams and finding a solution is critical to enhancing our quality of life.”
The Mystic River Watershed Association (MyRWA) recently completed an interactive science and design program with Keverian School fifth graders, led by Education Program Manager Marian Miller. Students in Ms. Simmons-Ononeme’s class developed ways to catch stormwater pollution.
“The greatest benefit of this project was working with the Mystic River Water Association and providing my students with a hands-on real life issue that they could work to create a solution for,” said Ms. Ononeme. “Students were introduced to a career opportunity that they have never thought about before.”
“We want to educate and inspire our future stewards,” added Miller. “Far too often when I go into the classroom youth do not know about the local river that sits in their backyard. With our programs we introduce students to the watershed, help them understand it, think critically about issues facing it and explore possible solutions.”
The five-day course concluded on Monday, as the students showcased their designs to a group of distinguished guests that included MyRWA Stormwater Project Manager Catherine Peidmonti, Exelon Generation Communications Manager Mark Rodgers, and Everett’s Executive Director of Public Works and Engineering, Gregory St. Louis.
The MyRWA’s education programs are funded in part by a substantial grant from Exelon Generation. The Everett Public Schools hope to expand this program to middle-school classrooms throughout the district.
“I am consistently impressed with the achievements of Everett students in STEM programs and I am pleased that Exelon Generation is supporting the Mystic River Watershed Association to bring their hands-on, interactive STEM program into classrooms like this one, across the watershed,” said Exelon Generation Northeast Region General Manager Archie Gleason. “This program not only educates students, it provides them with an opportunity to become stewards of the environment right in their own communities.”
MyRWA was founded in 1972 with a mission to protect and restore the Mystic River, its tributaries and watershed lands for the benefit of present and future generations and to celebrate the value, importance and great beauty of these natural resources. The Mystic River Watershed is a network of streams, rivers, and lakes, all draining into the Mystic River. The watershed has been an integral part in the development of the 21 Greater Boston communities it connects.
The Keverian students embraced the coursework, working in teams to design and build devices that will keep pollutants out of our water. They received valuable feedback from Ms. Peidmonti and Mr. St. Louis, two experts in solutions related to stormwater and drainage.
“Ms. Simmons-Ononeme’s students applied the engineering design skills they gained earlier in the year to an authentic local challenge,” said EPS Science Director Ann Ritchie. “Being given the time and resources to test their own ideas makes them engineers in their own right.”