Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) Commissioner Kari K. Steele recently visited James Wadsworth Elementary School, 6650 South Ellis Avenue, to lend support and encourage Wadsworth’s efforts in the FIRST® LEGO® League Challenge Team Competition. The competition is a collaboration between FIRST® (For Inspiration & Recognition of Science & Technology) and LEGO® Education.
The Wadsworth FIRST® LEGO® League Challenge Team, of five Science class students, entered the HYDRO DYNAMICS Challenge and successfully made it through the first round of competition to attend the Illinois Championship events to be held on January 13, 14 and 27, 2018 at Elgin Community College and the University of Illinois. The competition is designed for students ages 9-16 and included students from 80 countries. The challenge for the competing students is to improve the way people find, transport, use or dispose of water.
Prior to the competition, Commissioner Steele was invited as a Subject Matter Expert to visit the Wadsworth FIRST® LEGO® League Science class team. During her visit she provided information about the many services provided by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) of Greater Chicago. Commissioner Steele provided the students and teachers with informational brochures about Healthy Waterways, Drug-Free Drains, Too Cute to Pollute, It’s a Toilet…Not a Trashcan, Understanding Your Sewer, Overflow Action Days, Chicago Area Waterway System, and Tunnel and Reservoir Plan and more.
The Wadsworth students provided Commissioner Steele with a pre- competition demonstration of their Robot Game entry and the many, water related, goals the Robot had to accomplish to garner the maximum points during the competition.
Women are still under-represented in various fields, including Science, where the glass ceiling is still a reality. Nowadays, barely 28% of researchers are women. “As a chemist and environmentalist in my first term on the MWRD Board, I continue to work tirelessly to promote careers in STEM related fields for women, minorities and youth, as well as remain a strong advocate for keeping our environment safe and clean,” said MWRD Commissioner Kari K. Steele.
During Commission Steele’s visit at James Wadsworth STEM Elementary School she also shared insightful information about her more than 11 years of experience working as a chemist. She has worked at the Jardine Water Purification Plant (as a water chemist), MWRD (as a water sampler and lab technician) and L’Oréal (as a Formulating Chemist, formulating (or creating) various hair care products.