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AT-RISK KIDS GET AN EDUCATION AT THE BURN PLANT

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You've got to have an education - even to be a garbage man. That's what some Davis School District junior high students discovered earlier this summer when they temporarily worked at the burn plant.

As members of a special summer science class for at-risk students based at Kaysville Junior High, 14 kids took advantage of a special partnership with the Davis County Solid Waste Management District and worked for two days at the Layton burn plant."The kids thought it was pretty exciting," Jon Miaya, science teacher and program supervisor, said.

He also said the students were amazed to find there are computers everywhere at the burn plant. They were also surprised to discover how clean the facility is.

The students each worked six hours daily at the burn plant during the two days doing various tasks. Two kids even got to operate the large crane that scoops up trash and dumps it into the furnace.

A tour of the facility was included in the two-day period and students also learned that one employee recently doubled his hourly wage at the facility after receiving college training.

Miaya said the experience was important for the students because all of them live in the county and their own garbage ends up at the burn plant.

"They got to see, touch and feel an operation they're all partaking of," he said.

John Schmidt, burn plant manager, said he became aware of the special summer class last winter when he met Miaya on the ski slopes. "It's a real value to the community," he said.

Miaya said the purpose of the class is to spark a genuine interest in science and match for the students. "They have to learn to work . . . develop teamwork skills," he said of the field-based course, now in its fourth year as a partnership with local businesses.