On March 5, the Department of Environmental Quality's Office of Environmental Education hosted over 30 students from Moore Square Magnet Middle School for Students@Work℠ Month.
Students@Work℠ serves a critical role in our state's work-based learning efforts by helping local students become aware of potential careers and the necessary skillsets for those careers. Throughout the month of March, students will hear from guest speakers and take part in worksite visits where they learn firsthand about the careers available in their communities.
Upon arriving at DEQ's Green Square building in downtown Raleigh, students heard an inspiring speech from DEQ Secretary Michael Regan. Secretary Regan told the group about how we became involved in the environmental field and explained the career path that led him to DEQ.
Next, students participated in informational breakout sessions with staff from different DEQ divisions. Elliot Tardif and Tira Beckham from the Division of Air Quality showed the middle school students how the division forecasts the air quality index and explained why data manipulation is an important skill for many careers.
Students joined Amanda Mueller, Kristie Gianopulos, and Greg Rubino from the Division of Water Resources on an exciting journey through North Carolina's wetlands through the use of an online, interactive map. Marty Wiggins and Sarah Sanford from the Office of Environmental Education led a building tour where students learned about the Green Square building's LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.
The morning concluded with an informative session with Human Resources Director Ursula Hairston. Ursula helped the students connect their passions and interests with potential careers and explained the types of qualifications necessary for working in the STEM field.
The Students@Work℠ program is a joint initiative between the North Carolina Business Committee for Education (NCBCE) and the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. The 2019 Students@Work℠ initiative includes more than 280 businesses and 46,000 students statewide.
For more information about the Department's participation in Students@Work℠ Month, contact the Office of Environmental Education at 919-707-8125. For more information about NCBCE, visit ncbce.org.