Environmental Engineer in Saginaw Sees the Value in Sharing Science with Students

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Environmental Engineer in Saginaw Sees the Value in Sharing Science with Students

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Monday, July 29, 2013 - 12:15pm

CAMPAIGN: GM Resource Preservation


For a group of middle school students from Millington, Mich. Junior High, building a mechanical lift device to raise a battery without dropping it was anything but “mission impossible.”

With the help of Renee Mietz, senior environmental engineer at Saginaw (Mich.) Metal Casting Operations (SMCO), the students competed in a challenge called “Mission Possible” in Michigan’s state-wide Science Olympiad. The team placed 3rd in the state in a “Crime Busting” challenge:  identifying a crime scene using their knowledge of science.

Mietz has been helping out with a variety of projects in the Millington schools. In addition to the Olympiad students, Mietz leads GM GREEN (Global Rivers Environmental Education Network) trips which take children through local wetlands in Bay City to show them the importance of protecting water quality and ways to improve the lakeshore.

“My goal when working with the kids is to get them to see that science is alive,” Mietz said. “These activities get students thinking about their surroundings and begin to understand the relationship between science, math and the real world.”

Even among her work colleagues, Mietz promotes continuing education in the natural sciences. Twice yearly, Mietz moves her office into the entrance of the plant and brings a variety of insect and bird identification and tree health books so that fellow employees can better understand the wildlife that surrounds their workplace.

And the vast wetland near the plant provides an ideal location for hands-on learning events for Boy Scout troops and classes from local schools. Mietz takes students right up to the wetlands, then into the plant where they discuss what they’ve seen outdoors.

“Even if they don’t go into science, the subject teaches important lessons about problem solving,” Mietz explained. “We’ll benefit by raising children who can think on their feet and get things done.”


General Motors
Keywords: Social Impact & Volunteering | GM | GM GREEN | General Motors | Mentoring | Saginaw Metal Casting Operations | Science Olympiad

CAMPAIGN: GM Resource Preservation