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OHS Science Club, Aurora Rotary Club, dive into water projects
The Overland High School Science Club and the Aurora Rotary Club have joined forces to find better ways to provide clean water in developing countries such as Peru.

On Feb. 29, members of the Aurora Rotary Club met with OHS students and staff at the Cherry Creek School District’s Institute of Science and Technology, which is on the Overland-Prairie Middle School Campus.  Rotary members enjoyed a demonstration of a water filtration project the science club is working on, which could help people in developing nations generate clean water using inexpensive and locally available materials.

“It has to be sustainable from their end,” said Rotarian Jerry Allen, who explained that the Aurora Rotary Club currently supports two water projects in a remote area of Peru.  “When you give them clean water, it’s like giving them a 100-bed hospital because you eradicate water-borne illnesses.”

The Aurora Rotary Club awarded a $5,000 grant to the OHS Science Club for project supplies and equipment, and members enjoyed seeing how the money is being used.

“It was wonderful,” Rotarian Jim Rogers said of the presentation.  “I’m glad to hear about what they’re doing.”

The students also enjoyed the opportunity to talk with the Rotary Club members. 

“When you get to work with Rotary, you get to meet interesting people and expand your horizons,” said Science Club member Jacob Donohoue.

The presentation also included a tour of the Institute of Science and Technology, which was approved by Cherry Creek voters in the 2008 bond election.  The state-of-the-art facility serves Overland and Prairie students through a rich and rigorous curriculum of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM.  Richard Charles, Director of STEM Education for Cherry Creek Schools, explained that 90% of all jobs in the future will have a technical component, so it is imperative that students have a strong foundation in STEM education.

Rotarian Bill Wiggins said the presentation answered a key
question in his mind. 

“Are our public schools meeting today’s needs and preparing our students for the future?  Definitely!  When I see the caliber of the programs here and see how motivated the kids are, I know Cherry Creek is definitely training people for both short-term and long-term success.”
Posted 3/5/2012 12:47 PM
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