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WaterFest 2017

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WaterFest 2017

On September 27-28 Garrett Monson, Drew Kessler, Dave Olson, and Laura Kaihoi from HEI's Maple Grove office made an appearance for the second year in a row at the Sauk River Watershed District’s WaterFest to educate fourth grade students on water quality and conservation. Held at the Mill Stream Park in St. Joseph, the annual WaterFest aims to educate local fourth graders on all things water, from how different species live in and use water to what we as people can do to be sure these natural resources are available for generations to come.
Continuing our work from last year’s WaterFest, Garrett, Drew, and Laura showed the kids different examples of filtration materials and systems that HEI uses to improve water quality. The kids were shocked to see every day materials like sand or woodchips can be used to clean up dirty water.  

Dave led the shiny new second-half of the lesson by showing the students drones that he uses in the field to find blockages and other issues along rivers. The kids were extremely excited to see the drones fly and asked more questions than could be answered. Dave explained to the students how drones make surveying and data collection for restoration and improvement projects easier by saving surveyors time and energy in the field.

Then finally, to the kids’ delight, Dave took to the skies! He flew a drone over the neighboring river to find garbage and a Styrofoam fish (which our team strategically placed) through a live feed from the drone’s camera. Traveling up the river Dave could show the kids how much ground the drones can cover in just ten minutes. 

The drones were a clear success and brought a new level of excitement to learning about water quality.
During the drone landing the kids were thrilled to see themselves on the television.