Instilling Water Stewardship in the Next Generation
By AMWUA Staff
The AMWUA cities and regional partners understand the significance of educating younger generations about why water is a valuable resource, especially here in the desert. They strive to promote water education while highlighting the importance of conservation with both students and teachers by providing various programs and resources both inside the classroom and outdoors. After all, these students are the water stewards of tomorrow.
Last week, 800 4th grade students gathered over the span of two days for the 15th Annual Chandler Water Festival to get immersed in water knowledge. The students participated in water-themed educational activities as they moved through various stations hosted by community volunteers and local high school students. They learned more about the water cycle, watershed, groundwater, and water conservation, all of which are vital components to understanding why water is so precious. The educational event strives to instill a deeper understanding of water and Arizona’s water resources in the earth system to celebrate science and water stewardship.
These community water festival events are hosted by Arizona Project WET, with support from community partners and volunteers. The Arizona WET Water Festivals have been running since 2000. Since that time, over 135,000 students have participated in the program statewide. The interactive community festivals are part of a curriculum unit that instills a deeper understanding of water in the earth’s system and Arizona’s water resources. Back in 1989, Arizona was the third state to pilot the Project WET program.
For any educational program to be a success, the involvement of teachers is vital. That is why Project WET ensures teachers’ engagement who participate in a seven-hour workshop to learn how to facilitate the Arizona WET Water Festival Curriculum Unit. Teachers are provided with lesson plans that engage students both before and after attending a water festival. This program focuses on the importance of water, assists teachers in evolving instructional practices, and engages students to pursue the answers to their questions. This structure helps educators teach water science concepts more effectively, and it works
When exposed and engaged in water education programs, students are far more likely to participate in water-conserving habits regularly. That is why the continued commitment to work with schools through hands-on activities while providing access to water-wise programs and resources will remain a priority. The goal to engage our younger generations, the water stewards of the future, is an integral part of our long-term sustainability.
Diverse programming is made available to engage young students through interactive learning, classroom demonstrations, magic and puppet shows, field trips to water treatment facilities, and more throughout the school year. More information about the available resources for teachers and students provided by the AMWUA municipalities and regional partners can be found HERE.
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For over 50 years, the Arizona Municipal Water Users Association has worked to protect our member cities’ ability to provide assured, safe, and sustainable water supplies to their communities. For more water information, visit www.amwua.org.
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