Frankford Creek

Submersible Science: Philly Students Launch Underwater Drone with PWD

Submersible Science: Philly Students Launch Underwater Drone with PWD

While most Philadelphia students were heading home early due a heat wave this past Tuesday, four 11th grade students from Mariana Bracetti Academy were busy suiting up in full-body chest waders, a necessary piece of gear for the mission at hand: launching a submersible, camera-equipped drone in Frankford Creek.

Undaunted by the steamy temps, the students’ maiden voyage was the culmination of five weekly afterschool sessions they had spent assembling the drone through a program called greenSTEM. An effort of the Philadelphia Water Department, the educational program shows local students how jobs in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields support the department’s watershed protection work.

Built using a kit greenSTEM instructors Matthew Fritch and Maria Horowitz obtained with the Fairmount Water Works through a CUSP (Climate & Urban Systems Partnership) grant, the propeller-driven rover fits in a suitcase and resembles a mashup of the original R2-D2 and a tabletop video projector.

Clearly eager to give it a spin, students Manuela Duran, Angel Cruz, Luz Gonzalez-Mateo and Candy Lucero-Sanchez were joined along Juniata Golf Club section of the stream by their teacher, Lauren DeHart.

Cayuga Triangle Rain Garden Completes a Circle of Green in Juniata Park

Pastor David Scudder at right and, at left, members of the community with PWD, Councilwoman Sanchez and TTF Watershed Partnership. Credit: PWD
 Members of the community with PWD, Councilwoman Sanchez and TTF Watershed Partnership. Credit: PWD

When we build the green tools that make Philadelphia’s Green City, Clean Waters program work, our engineers and planners are thinking about how much stormwater we can manage with a given rain garden, tree trench, planter or other green infrastructure system. Protecting local waterways and dealing with water from storms that can create pollution is a big part of what we do at the Philadelphia Water Department.

But we also like to highlight the way these green investments can benefit a community—raising neighborhood pride, adding beauty to our streets, providing little pockets of nature—in addition to managing stormwater.

At a ribbon cutting held in November for a rain garden along Castor Avenue in Juniata Park, we heard a story that reminded us what a little extra green can mean for the people living nearby.

This Sunday, Run for Healthy Urban Streams


Click the image to sign up for the Healthy Trails 5K now!

 

Are you a runner/hiker who cares about the health of our urban parks and waterways?

Sign up now for the Healthy Trails 5K, a Philadelphia Water-sponsored event that’s helping to raise funds for the TTF Watershed Partnership, one of our key community partners.

Syndicate content