On October 20, Jada Simmons Ononeme, a fourth grade teacher at the Keverian School, received the Ripple Award during the annual meeting of the Mystic River Watershed Association (MyRWA). The Ripple Award celebrates an individual whose work with MyRWA ripples out and impacts the broader community.
During the past two school years, Ononeme and her students learned about the Mystic River and the problem of stormwater pollution. They examined storm drains and thought about storm drain infrastructure and how a storm water system is different from the sewer system. They brainstormed ideas for reducing pollution in stormwater and designed a different type of storm drain that could reduce pollution entering the river. And then they diagramed their ideas and built 3D models. Finally, they shared what they had learned and thought about with others – creating PSA messages and talking about their learning with invited guests. Last year this all happened over Zoom – no small feat for fourth graders.
Starting at the end of October, MyRWA and Ononeme will be working together again: introducing students to the River, the water quality issues related to stormwater, the engineering process, problem-solving and design.