OWF Initiative – STEM Education

“Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.”

– H. G. Wells


The OWF STEM Education initiative focuses on adapting our work to support STEM education. Although many of the tools that OWF develops are intended for use by engineers and researchers with advanced education, our intent is also to make data, information, and software more accessible to the public so that such tools can increase transparency and understanding of complex water issues. Below are examples of how OWF is contributing to STEM education.

Support STEM Education Programs

Our initial focus on the STEM Education initiative is to support STEM educators by reducing barriers to data and software tools related to water and natural resources.  This will allow educators to use real-world data more effectively and efficiently so that a wider array of problems can be made available to challenge students.  At a more integrated level, we will work with educators and students to use and enhance software and data, and to develop curriculum topics.  Examples of OWF efforts to support STEM education include:

  • Providing water resources data analysis examples that can be used in education
  • Creating data and software documentation that can be understood by students at various levels
  • Participating in educational opportunities throughout the region near OWF offices
  • Mentoring students who are interested in software development and water resources projects

Align STEM Education Initiative with the OWF Internship Program

OWF also is aligning the STEM Education initiative with our Educating Social Entrepreneurs initiative (internship program) through the following activities:

  • Developing a pipeline of university interns and funded project work that provides meaningful opportunities for university students interested in water and software technologies
  • Developing a rotation program for interns whereby they learn technical skills at OWF that can be applied in subsequent internships with other organizations
  • Encouraging female university students to continue in technical fields by providing internship opportunities
  • Connecting technical work with social impact to increase the value and meaning of experiences