Our Summer Institute: 40 Teachers, a Landfill and a Wastewater Plant

What happens when you have TreePeople’s Education Department, 40+ educators, a two-day Generation Earth workshop and the Hyperion Wastewater Treatment Center?

A whole ton of fun and learning–that’s what!

Earlier this summer, the Generation Earth program delivered yet another successful Summer Institute focusing on waste, water and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in LA. The professional development workshop for LA County 6th-12th grade explored the different waste and water issues in the region and how service learning projects can be a point of entry to explore these topics with students.

Generation Earth is an environmental education program in partnership with the LA County Department of Public Works that empowers teens to make a positive impact at school, home and in their community. We do this by working with teachers and students across LA County through events like the Summer Institute and other workshops.

The first day was led by TreePeople’s Waste Reduction Specialist, Alyson Schill. Not only did participants get an in-depth, interactive presentation, they also attended a field trip to Puente Hills Landfill to see where trash goes after it’s hauled away each week.

The second day delved into water issues and with our Stormwater Pollution Specialist, Amanda Begley. Participants learned about our water’s long commute before it arrives on cue at our spigot and where it travels after it drains away. We brought all this new knowledge together as we discussed strategies and solutions to creating more waterwise campuses and educational opportunities.   

Teachers also experienced first-hand “where it goes,” by touring the Hyperion Wastewater Treatment Plant, getting an up-close look (and quite frankly, smell) at what happens to wastewater after water swirls down the drain.

An informative and valuable learning and networking opportunity!Summer Institute attendee

We’re thrilled to see what carries through this year in classrooms after feeling and hearing the enthusiasm at the event.

Interested in bringing new environmental teaching opportunities to your classroom? Sign up for the next Generation Earth Workshop today!

Amanda is TreePeople’s Watershed Education Specialist. She attended her first TreePeople event when she was 12 years old and has been a “tree person” ever since. When Amanda is not educating on local water issues, she is exploring the many amazing hiking areas around Los Angeles County.