High school students will gain hands-on experience in the field and lab

SEATTLE – January 15, 2013- Clean and green technologies offer tremendous promise for addressing some of the world’s most challenging problems as well as the potential for long-term career opportunities, yet high school students rarely have the opportunity for hands-on learning in these realms, or access to high level professionals in these fields. To meet this important community need, an innovative program, the Environmental Science and Technology Practicum, launched this past fall at Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center.

At the end of this month, a new session gets underway that features an impressive roster of some of the most exciting professionals in this arena, such as Microsoft’s Chief Environmental Strategist, the project manager for the New Energy Cities initiative which works to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy among small- and medium-sized cities in the Pacific Northwest, and recent winners of the UW Environmental Innovation Challenge.

In the Environmental Science and Technology Practicum, high school students develop a foundation for future study as well as professional networking experience that positions them to be tomorrow’s leaders in environmental science and clean technologies. Participating students also receive a certificate of completion to enhance their academic portfolio and college application preparations.
Each eight-week session provides an opportunity for in-depth, hands-on environmental and clean technology investigations in both field and laboratory settings as well as exposure to leading industry professionals who share their cutting-edge work with the students and discuss careers and associated educational pathways in their respective fields.

Clean technology professionals and environmental scientists will supplement the curriculum that focuses on such topics as chemistry of freshwater and marine systems, environmental health and occupational health sciences, renewable energy and smart grid innovations, natural resource assessment and ecological restoration as well as sustainability and energy efficiency in the built environment.

One of last session’s participants shared this enthusiastic feedback with us: "Personally, the wet lab fall session was the best science program that I have ever taken. I learned and experienced so many interesting things and it helped me a lot to understand about wetland and its issues. Also I was so happy to meet nice friends and teachers; I wish I can meet them again someday. Thank you so much for guiding and teaching me for last 8 weeks, I will never forget what I learned through this lab."

Classes will take place in the Mercer Slough’s state-of-the-art wet lab facility and throughout the 320-acre nature park. The practicum sessions will be held on Saturday mornings from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. starting on January 26 and will run through March 23 (with holiday weekends excluded).  The session fee is $375. Registration is now open and space is limited. For more information about the Environmental Science and Technology Practicum please go to ( To register, please call (206) 443-2925.
Built on a 320-acre wetland, the Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center is a collaboration of Pacific Science Center and the City of Bellevue. For general information on Mercer Slough’s programs and the facility, visit