On Friday, May 3, CPS students participating in the competitive Paschen Engineering Scholars Program from George Westinghouse College Prep (GWCP) participated in an educational tour of the Stickney Water Reclamation Plant in Cicero as part of their STEM discovery and training initiative. The scholars toured the Stickney Water Reclamation Plant (WRP), one of the largest wastewater treatment facilities in the world, serving residents in the central part of Chicago and 46 other communities.
“It was bittersweet,” said F.H. Paschen Project Manager and GWCP Paschen Engineering Scholars liaison, Antonia Winfrey. “I’m watching my first group of scholars participate in their final tour prior to their Hard Hat Ceremony graduation on May 30th. We’ve grown so much together and I know we’re setting them on the right path. It’s been an incredible journey.”
Owned and operated by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD), the Stickney WRP serves 2.3 million people within 260 square miles in Cook County to mitigate flooding and convert wastewater into valuable resources such as clean water, phosphorous, biosolids, and natural gas.
“It was a great example of engineering at work,” said Joe Scarpelli, Executive Vice President at F.H. Paschen. “Every opportunity we have to show these students the power of STEM at work is so valuable, and today was extremely impactful.”
Students that participated in the tour represent each of the current four classes of F.H. Paschen’s Engineering Scholars Program, a curriculum that includes hands-on activities that allow the scholars to develop technical skills, build problem-solving abilities and gain real world work experience to improve their knowledge of and access to career opportunities in the STEM fields.
“We were happy to welcome a group of bright students from Westinghouse College Prep to our Stickney Water Reclamation Plant,” said MWRD President Kari K. Steele. “We hope they gained an appreciation for the work the MWRD does to clean water and recover resources. We also hope they will consider careers in the water industry.”