The organization that I’m working for is the Colorado River Alliance. This non-profit is an organization that works to educate the public on how important the Colorado River is for Texas and how, in turn, we can ensure its long-term vitality. The organization was founded in conjunction with the Lower Colorado River Authority which manages the Colorado River in its entirety. The Colorado River Alliance’s main goal is to educate today’s youth to become tomorrow’s leaders.
I work with the Redbud Center which is a field trip program, where 3rd-5th grade students come to learn more about the Colorado River. The field trip is divided into 4 different stations where they are able to learn different aspects of the Colorado River. The different stations include: (1) learning about the Colorado River, (2) watersheds and pollution, (3) water conservation, and (4) the water cycle.
As an intern at the Colorado River Alliance, my primary task is to educate kids about the water cycle. The 40-minute lesson is split up into two parts: a brief discussion about the water cycle and a hands-on activity. For the lecture part, I teach about the different processes within the water cycle and it how they affect one another. For the activity part, I teach them that the water cycle isn’t a perfect cycle; instead it’s more random where a water droplet may end up.
When I’m not teaching children, I do a lot of office work, which includes setting up for the next day as well as entering data for the organization. Additionally, throughout the semester I will help my boss develop lesson plans that can be more educational for students.
This is my first time working with children, and coming into this internship, I had no idea what to expect. At the beginning it was a little intimidating because I had no idea how kids would act, but it has proven to be very easy for the most part. Something that I’ve been able to learn is that if there are just a few kids that are disruptive it’s going to distract the entire group and make it difficult to teach. Throughout the semester I have also learned how to teach according to the students’ respective grade levels. For example, 3rd graders have to be taught material in a much simpler way than that of 5th graders and it’s been interesting being able to plan out how I am going to convey the materials to these different grades.
In the end, I’m very happy with the internship that I was able to be a part of. My coworkers are absolutely amazing, which makes every day a good day when I am out teaching children. I think one of the best things that I’m going to come across having worked with the Colorado River Alliance is the countless connections that I will be able to take advantage of when I’ve graduated and I am looking for a job.