Laura Hagstrom Celebrates National Engineers Week with Local Students

This week is National Engineers week! And, today is specifically “Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day.” That’s exactly what WSN’s water resources engineer Laura Hagstrom did recently when she spent part of a day with middle school students.

What does a watershed mean to a seventh grader? A lot—after Laura finishes playing The Watershed Game with them! On behalf of the City of Alexandria’s Stormwater Management Committee, Laura has been given the opportunity to teach Alexandria 7th graders the importance of stormwater management and how it can affect our everyday lives by playing the game with students and discussing her role as a water resources engineer. The game helps students understand the relationship between land uses within a watershed, pollution each land use can create, and best practices to reduce or eliminate the pollution. Each best practice has an associated cost, giving the students a better idea of the decisions that local leaders have to make with limited funding. The goal of the game is to reach a minimum level of pollution without going broke; a challenge most students are excited to meet.

The game has had positive reviews – students and teachers both love it! Students are becoming more aware of their surroundings, how decisions they make can affect our water quality, and who to call if they see pollution occurring around them. Teachers welcome the additional teaching opportunity.

The Watershed Game was developed by the Minnesota Sea Grant and University of Minnesota Extension to teach people how land use impacts water quality and natural resources. The Stormwater Management Committee deemed it important enough to purchase the game and put a plan in place to teach middle schoolers the important role water plays in our environment.