Ben Delle Donne showed students at Norwin Middle School photos that had been taken when he did water quality testing at Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. One photo showed tall grass with roots that feed on some of the sewage before it enters the lake.
Mr. Delle Donne was one of almost three dozen college students and recent graduates in science, technology, engineering and math who came to Norwin middle school, high school and Hillcrest Intermediate School to tell students about careers in those disciplines and how science and engineering can be used to solve real problems.
Sewage that flows into Lake Atitlan, where people draw water for cooking and cleaning, contaminates drinking water, he said, but the tall grass and pumice stone can be used to remove some sewage from the lake, since no money is available for traditional sewage treatment systems,
In addition to Mr. Delle Donne's presentation students at the middle school saw a presentation about the science and engineering needed to get the Mars Rover to the Red Planet.
Eighth-grader Sam Melegari said it was "pretty amazing" that scientists were able to send something as big as the rover to Mars, while classmate Laura Marsiglio said she found it remarkable that scientists worked for more than 10 years to get the over ready to land.
"It seems like the hardest part was landing," eighth-grader Zane Varner said.
Christa Lorenchick, a college student who hopes to work as a genetic counselor, talked about the work that different types of engineers do and what medical careers are available to students who study science.
Seventh-grader Rebecca Marflak, who was interested in the presentation on water quality and parasites, said she would like to become a doctor who specializes in helping premature babies.
Seventh-grader Kevin Becker said he is interested in working to cure diseases.
At the high school, speakers included electrical, mechanical and chemical engineers; a doctoral student in biomedical engineering; an aerospace engineering undergraduate student at the U.S. Naval Academy; and a graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh School of Dentistry.education - neigh_east - neigh_westmoreland
Anne Cloonan, freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org.