Robotics club tours water plant


October 19, 2017

Courtesy of Jessica Vik

Above: Duncan Cruickshank and the Robotics Club at the water plant.

Recently the Wahkiakum 4-H Robotics Club went on a field trip to the Cathlamet Sewer and Water Plant. Their mission on this field trip was to learn one way humans and the water cycle are connected. Some of the members in this club are preparing for the FIRST Lego League competition in December whose theme is "Hydro Dynamics." Part of the competition is playing robot games but there is also an educational side of it. The team presents before the judges a solution to a project they have researched. In this case it is finding a way to improve upon the way people find, transport, use, or dispose of water.

Courtesy of Jessica Vik

Right: Henri Kolditz looking at the "bugs" under the microscope.

Jay Watson gave a very informative tour of the sewer plant. He calls himself a "bug farmer," taking care of the bacteria that do the dirty work of the job and checking to make sure they stay healthy. He checks on them daily under a microscope. Duncan Cruickshank prepared a "bug" sample for the kids to look at under the microscope, while Jay toured the kids around the sewer plant. They got to see the screw which catches all the things one shouldn't flush down the toilet: toys, toothbrushes, money, feminine products and even diamond rings. They also got to see the process from the oxidation ditch to the drying beds. Then the kids took a look under the microscope.

From there, Duncan took the club out the Elochoman Valley to the water plant. He showed them the process of how the water is cleaned and how the fluoride powder is saturated. Robotics was seen in use here by sensors that controlled manipulators to shut pumps off when the water tank is full and the chlorine reader which tests with a light sensor. Great advice was given to the kids, "Know your math and know how to read," Duncan told them. This advice will take them far in any job they get in their future.


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