On June 13, 2013 Terracon’s Oklahoma City (OKC) office hosted 25 eighth grade students, and five faculty members, attending Oklahoma State University’s (OSU) summer camp titled, “Biology and Engineering for a Sustainable Tomorrow.” The camp was funded through the State Regents Summer Academy and was aimed at introducing the students to the vast world of biology and engineering as applied in everyday life. Terracon employees were tasked with covering the topic of bioremediation.
Phil Wood, Terracon’s OKC office manager, welcomed the visitors with an introduction to Terracon, a description of the math, science, and engineering behind all that we do, and an encouraging word regarding the dedication to education required to pursue a career in these fields. Members of Terracon’s OKC environmental department then took the students on a tour through the world of environmental consulting!
First, the students witnessed the drilling of a soil boring and installation of a monitoring well by Terracon’s OKC drilling staff. The students aided in classifying soils, gauged the monitoring well, and learned about such topics as groundwater flow, subsurface contamination, plume migration, and contaminant delineation. In the afternoon, they broke into groups and rotated through five stations covering the topics of geology, groundwater flow, injections, bioremediation, and health and safety. Through discussion and hands-on learning, the students discovered the world of rocks and minerals, learned about groundwater quality and field data collection, developed an appreciation for the intricacies of enhanced anaerobic bioremediation, tried on an array of personal protective equipment, and took a stab at creating their own mini-landfarm.
The program was an opportunity for Terracon to reach out to the community, and share with the next generation the importance of math, science, and engineering. The students had a great time at Terracon and the OSU staff is already looking forward to next year’s camp!