Our Social Innovation Project teams have visited various water agencies, nonprofits, and infrastructure projects which are designed to protect, recycle, and reuse California water. We rounded out our Fall exploration of the LA River with four final site visits to the Donald C. Tillman Water Reclamation Plant, Marsh Park to meet with scientists from the Council for Watershed Health, and representatives from the Mountains Recreation Conservation Authority, TreePeople, and a former president of the Elysian Valley Neighborhood Council, local entrepreneur and artist.
The days that we are on campus, the students wrap up tasks from the previous weeks' site visits: they write thank you cards, upload their photos and videos, and record their scribe notes in the official SIP logs. An emphasis is placed on the importance of information management as students log key takeaways to each of the locations that were visited.
The last part of our on campus days are dedicated to group share-outs, where each team prepares a short presentation explaining where they went, what they learned, and how it relates to the LA River. Groups also discuss their understanding of what the "key problem" is with the LA River from the perspective of the people they meet with. These presentations are a great way for students to practice public speaking, synthesizing their thoughts, and responding to critical questions from the audience.
It is also a forum for students to exercise their creativity while demonstrating their knowledge of the subject area. As students have become accustomed to our alternating SIP schedule, the presentations have become more elaborate, with higher production value, and the presenters keep on perfecting their pitches. Over the last few months, we have seen students write songs, poems, and edit videos that reinforce the official SIP presentations. As we move forward with our SIP projects, we will continue to share these creative outputs on our SIP blog.