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An "authentic" visitor

posted Sep 27, 2010, 3:58 PM by Michael Reilly   [ updated Sep 27, 2010, 5:29 PM ]
Throughout the literature on project-based learning, you read about making sure that the projects are authentic and real.  Who prefers fake?  

Well, our CDAT students have been diligent on their projects focused on water, so we had a local expert come in who has personally been involved in fighting the "water wars" of Georgia, F. Wayne Hill.  Mr. Hill has been a Commissioner of Gwinnett County, and Chairman of the Atlanta Regional Commission, and he has seen this issue for more years than our students have been alive.

Mr. Hill spoke for about 20 minutes, adding some history to the issue.  He talked about Hartfield Airport in Atlanta and its pivotal role in creating Atlanta today, and that all of that was very dependent on water supply.  I won't go into much more detail, hopefully I'll have a student "guest blog" ("glog?") on their take.

In short, Mr. Hill did an amazing job answering their questions, and opening their eyes to other possibilities that have been discussed for many years.  One student turned to me and said "This is SO helpful!"

It was so refreshing to have students interact with such confidence, and I was proud to show their variety of technology products.  They still have work to do, but some will do a great job addressing our local/state officials when the time comes (and soon!).

Mr. Hill hanging out with some of the student for a less formal question and answer period.  Topics ranged from desalination to mag-lev trains.
Mr. Hill watching as students look at a satellite shot of the F. Wayne Hill treatment plant, which returns about 40 million gallons of water back to Lake Lanier each day. 

The initial talk was followed by plentiful questions.  The students really seemed confident in their previous knowledge, and clearly understood the "insider info".

Thank you Mr. Hill for a great experience!