Hydro Station Earns 'BlueTech Teaching' Award

Hydro Station Earns 'BlueTech Science Teaching' Award
Posted on 12/13/2019
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One of California’s leading maritime organizations recently honored Hydro Station, the District’s newest hands-on experiential learning lab, for its innovative approach to scientific teaching.

Hydro Station is an interactive educational space that houses learning exhibits and hands-on activities dedicated to introducing local students to the ecological cycle of water, water conservation, water quality, and careers in the water industry. The station is a joint educational project of the Sweetwater Authority, the Chula Vista Elementary School District, and the Otay Water District. The BlueTech Science Teaching Award was officially bestowed upon Michael Bruder, the CVESD’s Instructional Services Coordinator. He noted the award is as much a recognition of the work of the District’s partner agencies and Innovation Teacher Christy Bystrak.

Kids at the Hydro Station“I am truly honored to receive this award on behalf of the work that we do with CVESD students,” Bruder said. “Our work helps students explore their strengths and interests and how these may connect with possible careers in water.

“This would not be possible without our amazing industry partners at Sweetwater Authority and Otay Water District, the wonderful support of our Board of Education, and the outstanding instruction of our District Innovation Teacher there, Christy Bystrak. We are proud of the work that we have accomplished thus far and are deeply committed to continuing to provide these innovative learning experiences for our students.” 

More than 4,000 CVESD fifth-grade students are expected to visit Hydro Station annually.

TMA BlueTech, previously The Maritime Alliance, is the non-profit industry association and cluster organizer for the San Diego maritime technology community. Its tag line is Promoting BlueTech and Blue Jobs®. The organization supports development of BlueTech and Blue Jobs by promoting sustainable, science-based ocean and water industries. It brings education, policy and technology resources together to promote innovation and economic development in the Blue Economy.

The Sweetwater Authority, CVESD and the Otay Water District inaugurated Hydro Station in August 2019. The innovative learning station is located at the Sweetwater Authority’s Richard A. Reynolds Groundwater Desalination Facility, 3066 North Second Avenue, Chula Vista, CA 91910.

The award is the latest in a string of honors for CVESD’s Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) initiative, or STEAMing Ahead. The Classroom of the Future Foundation selected the District for its 2019 IMPACT award, which is the foundation’s most prestigious honor. Hydro Station follows up on Energy Station, a clean energy-themed Makerspace made possible thanks to partnerships with San Diego Gas & Electric, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the National Electrical Contractors Association and City of Chula Vista.

Kids receiving lesson at Hydro StationBeginning three years ago with Innovation Station, a collaboration with Qualcomm and the Chula Vista Public Library, CVESD’s “STEAMing Ahead!” program now includes Hydro Station, Energy Station and 12 school-site Maker-spaces across the District.

“Providing innovative, engaging learning opportunities for our students is at the core of our efforts at Hydro Station,” said Matthew R. Tessier, Ed.D., Assistant Superintendent,  Innovation and Instruction. “The BlueTech Science Teaching Award is a wonderful acknowledgement of the quality work being done by our District teachers and staff in increasing students’ access to STEAM activities and STEAM’s tie to the professional world that awaits them.”

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