Albany educators will create lesson plans based on local internships
Kelly Muller has been busy this summer sampling water from sites around Albany, working at the wastewater treatment plant and doing office work. But that's not her regular job. During the school year, Muller teaches science at Albany Options School.
Her job with the city of Albany is through the Weyerhaeuser Teacher Workforce Internship. Six teachers from Greater Albany Public Schools who work in science, technology, engineering and math were chosen to participate. Each teacher was placed with a different agency, required to work 10 full days by Aug. 15 and given a $2,000 stipend.
Muller said she learned a lot from working for the city of Albany.
"I was surprised by how much the city samples our drinking water weekly and daily," she said.
She explained that some tests could be done on site in small jars. She performed various tests on samples, including checking pH levels, chloride levels and temperature. Other tests have to be done in a lab and the city collects water in large bottles to be sent out.
This fall, the teachers will take their knowledge back to the classroom.
"I plan to do a whole unit on this information," Muller said. "We will start with the water cycle and end with the wastewater treatment plant."
Muller said her students will mimic a lot of the tests she performed and will get to learn what kinds of jobs are available and what education is required.
"This is a target job," she said. "We will always have to have it, but there are not many openings right now."
Josefine Fleetwood, the GAPS business to school liaison who coordinated which teachers would work at which businesses, explains why this is a good experience for teachers.
"The primary purpose of the internship is for teachers to observe, learn and connect their course content with the applied knowledge skills that employers deem critical for success in the workforce," she said.
Other teachers and the businesses they worked with were: Chava Neuhas, South Albany High School, SolarKi, CETC and Sunwise; Kilee Sowa, Memorial Middle School, Albany Democrat-Herald; Kerrie O'Brien, Memorial, Linn County Sheriff's Office; Sylvia Harvey, West Albany High School, Oregon Freeze Dry; and Evelyn Mears, North Albany Middle School, CH2M Hill.