Outreach Activities

2012 and 2013

We had two Lunch and Learn sessions at the 2012 and 2013 DEEP Enrichment Program at UofT. DEEP is an Engineering Summer Academy that receives students from Canada and all over the world and occurs in July each year.

“DEEP Summer Academy is designed for highly motivated high school students with an aptitude for science and math. DEEP provides students from around the world with the opportunity for advanced study in a variety of engineering, technology, business and science disciplines.”
Excerpt from DEEP Website

The 2012 session was attended by 80 students and the 2013 received 22 students. The students—grades 9-12—watched a presentation on groundwater flow, hydrological cycle, and contamination, followed by demonstrations of porous media and aquifer contamination.  A pizza lunch was served while they watched the presentation.

In 2013 we had a visit from 10 students from the Take our Daughters and Sons to Work Day organized by the Family Care Office. The 2013 visit was so successful that the person in charge wrote us an email asking for more in 2014!

“Last year we had such great reviews of your “tour” that I was wondering if there is any way that we can double up your numbers.”

Linda Silmer
Family Care Office

The 2013 Take our Daughters and Sons to Work Day tour to the Groundwater Labs at UofT received also positive reviews from the kids that participated.

In January 2014 we received the visit of 10 students and their teacher from the Martingroove Collegiate Institute. The students participated in a brief lecture about groundwater and went to the lab for a visit and demonstrations.

One high school student worked with the Groundwater Research group in the summer 2013. The student worked with PhD candidate, Scott Briggs, providing computational research support and programming as needed; participating and assisting in the design, execution, analysis and evaluation of numerical methods in the field of contaminant hydrogeology; performing basic literature research and reviews; and preparing status reports of research progress. The summer intern worked on an existing numerical modeling code in C, C++ and OpenGL. His work included fixing bugs and implementing new features which improved the core functionality of the software.  The summer intern also provided research assistance through analysis of the numerical modeling results, to this end he worked with existing post-processing code, improving it and developing new capabilities as needed.

At Western, the Civil Environmental Engineering Summer Academy ran July 22-26th and August 12-16th with groups of 8 and 11 students respectively. The students, who came from areas as far away as Ottawa and Hong Kong, learned about the fundamentals of civil engineering. Students completed 4 workshops each with a lecture and hands on component. The four areas of study included; Green Roofs, Watershed Hydrology, Drinking Water and Hydraulics. RESTORE group—research group at Western University to which Professors Gerhard, Herrera, and O’Carroll are part of—members Ariel Nunez (Hydraulics), Bilal Al-Bataina and Drew Sims (Green Roofs) as well as Jen Stewart (Watershed Hydrology) helped to make the week an exciting and informative experience. In addition a group lunch was held with all members of RESTORE where the students could ask questions one-on-one with a graduate students working on a range of environmental engineering projects. The week received overwhelmingly positive feedback and many students expressed interest in pursuing engineering in the future!

Planned Activities for 2014

1) Participation in the DEEP – da Vinci Engineering Enrichment Program at UofT with a “Lunch and learn” section for the third time at UofT.

2) Take our Daughters and Sons to Work day – Groundwater Laboratory (UofT) with two groups of 10 students.

3) Together with the Women in Science and Engineering—WISE—at the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Sciences at UofT, we will visit 2 high schools to bring groundwater and groundwater topic to talks at high school classrooms around the Greater Toronto Area.

4) The Faculty of Engineering at Western will carry workshops during the Civil Environmental Engineering Summer Academy again this year for children from Grades 2 to 12 in London, Sarnia, and Port Elgin.