Training tool becomes educational staple Email
Colorado Green NOW
Tuesday, February 13, 2018 07:00 AM

Irrigation in a boxWhen Emerald Isle Landscaping’s (EIL) Star Fanning created a display to use for in-house training of irrigation techs, he had no idea his concept would create an “a-ha” moment for teachers and be adopted statewide in high school classrooms—and beyond.  

Fanning’s teaching aid is an irrigation system start to finish displayed—and fully functional—on an eight-foot sheet of plywood on a table. “I was asked to build something that we could use to show account managers what a system looks like and how it works so they could better answer client’s questions,” he says.

Next, he used it to train new techs by showing them system components, how they work together and even as a troubleshooting tool when he causes valves to malfunction. From a backflow prevention device down to the smallest emitter, the system can be operated with an air compressor or water.

When ALCC volunteers prepared the first training for high school teachers in EIL’s training room, Fanning’s tabletop model inspired the Irrigation System in a Box. Teachers used the parts from their Box to assemble a system they took home with them after the training.

Fanning’s model has since been loaned to ALCC’s Irrigation Boot Camp and to Pickens Technical College, Aurora, which had its own model under construction in January. The Irrigation Association team was so intrigued, they requested the parts list. Fanning’s in-house training tool may be going viral.

As observers who have used this model have noted, Fanning’s dedication to his team provides a reminder that “simply doing our jobs” may have more impact than we ever imagine.

Read more in this issue of Colorado Green NOW:
Bill introduced to enforce utility locates law
Colorado landscape industry releases legislative priorities for 2018
Board of Directors announced for ALCC in 2018
Drone footage reveals stunning landscape at Apple Park

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