Green Works in Kansas City re-invents summer intern opportunities

When Covid-19 struck, Green Works in Kansas City staff knew finding traditional internship placements for their Excelerate graduates this summer would be next to impossible. But Program Manager Elaine Warren said the staff quickly turned around plans to align students’ interest in healthcare and environmental sciences into an outdoor internship program focusing on health and the environment.

Smiling teenager kneeling as he works in a garden

In this program, students learned how humans affect the environment, and how that in turn affects health. The six-week program included weekly field trips and interactive projects.

Students met with STEM professionals from Children’s Mercy Hospital, Mid-America Regional Council, Bridging the Gap, the Kansas City Zoo and more. And Green Works put its own STEM professionals to work, too.

Woman leads student group on outdoor tour

Board Member Laurie Brown, a conservation ecologist with Vireo, led a tour of the KC Water Services campus, and Roberta Vogel-Leutung, staff member and former chemist/water quality expert with the EPA, taught students about native plants and how landscaping decisions affect water, pollinators and birds.

Bike Walk KC leader and three teens pose on bikes in a garden setting

Students learned about the air quality impacts of our transportation choices, and put what they learned directly into practice, walking and biking near their midtown classroom during visits to Longfellow Farm and Bike Walk KC.

SchoolSmart Kansas City provided the funding to cover the development costs for the re-imagined summer internship program.

Green Works in Kansas City is part of the STEM Connect-KC community. Learn more about their work to provide hands-on environmental science, outdoor experiences, service projects, career exploration, workplace training and experience to empower Kansas City’s next generation of leaders.