I am writing in response to the April 26 editorial “Warning Blast: RiverQuest’s Mission Has Hit Rough Water.” As a teacher in the West Jefferson Hills School District, I have been involved with this hands-on environmental education program since its first expedition with students on Pittsburgh’s rivers.
This STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) program instills in students a sense of environmental stewardship, exposes them to real-world problem solving using issues affecting our river’s ecosystem and enables them to use scientific tools they may never have access to at their schools to conduct experiments and observe microscopic organisms. Students see firsthand the plankton and macroinvertebrates, the birds and the fish that thrive in our rivers and learn how humans impact these waters.
RiverQuest staff members, dedicated to environmental education, expose our children to career options within the sciences and encourage them to take ownership of their world and the future of our three rivers. I call upon the businesses that thrive financially along the Pittsburgh shoreline to rise to the challenge and fund the mission that RiverQuest embarks upon each day.
CONNIE KOCIS Gifted Support Teacher West Jefferson Hills School District Jefferson Hills
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