CHARLES TOWN – The Washington High School leadership class got insight into adult decisions during a wrap-up project as part of the Alliance for Education’s West Virginia Ready Internship Pilot Program, in partnership with West Virginia American Water to learn more about balancing decisions when it comes to installing water pipes.
On Thursday morning, students in the class shared their wrap-up projects with representatives from American Water and representatives from school districts via Zoom.
The class of seven was divided into three teams, each facing a scenario regarding a problem with residential water pipes. The students then researched and determined the best way to solve the problem.
One group focused on a family needing to install water pipes, another on a newlywed couple, and another on an elderly widow struggling with a system already installed. Everyone was considering having the installation done by American Water, by the owner doing the installation himself or by installing a well.
“I thought it was very interesting,” said Ayden Parker. “Growing up here is not something I focus on, especially at my age. To learn about water and the processes behind all the different departments in their business, the choices I can have when I grow up and buy my own home, start my own family, it’s great to be educated on something i can use.
Each team balanced the pros and cons, and in the end, each American Water installation was the best fit for the situation.
Being pushed into research and teamwork through the project, this led the students to consider applications for the future, learn about water pipes, as well as teamwork and decision making.
“I make a lot of impulsive decisions so looking at the pros and cons of different options was really important and telling,” said Tyler Meisenzahl. “It was really cool, because these are decisions I’m going to have to make in the next five or 10 years, buy a house and maybe have to put my own water line or have to go to a business.”
The class met with representatives from American Water twice a week for about two and a half months, while the students worked on their project.
The class thanked American Water for their help with pricing and information sharing, which in turn led to projects that impressed company employees. One commented that the students gave presentations similar to the ones the company does every day.
“As one of the state’s top environmental business leaders, we believe in the importance of providing these types of educational opportunities to our next generation of water industry employees. and wastewater, ”said Robert Burton, president of American Water. “Our team believe education is the foundation for a bright future, and it is an honor to work with the Education Alliance to inspire students to explore STEM careers for the next generation in West Virginia. . “
The internship program was launched in 2019 when the Education Alliance began placing juniors and seniors as interns at companies in West Virginia to develop their career preparation. Washington’s partnership with American Water included company-led virtual shadowing internships, training modules, and mentoring calls, with students learning more about various career opportunities in the water industry.
“We are grateful to West Virginia American Water for partnering with us once again to provide career development and mentorship to students in this innovative program,” said Education Alliance President / CEO Dr. Amelia. Short. “By providing virtual observation and workplace learning experiences during the school day, the WV Ready internship program is truly a life-changing experience. I would like to thank Washington High School and West Virginia American Water for their collaboration in enabling students to become “WV Ready Graduates” who are ready to succeed after high school. “
The WV Ready Internship Program is made possible with support from the American Electric Power Foundation, Toyota Motor Manufacturing WV, AT&T Foundation and Steeley Foundation. To learn more about the program, visit EducationAlliance.org.