Teaching the Water Stewards of Tomorrow
By Warren Tenney
The mission to educate students about water through fun and interactive learning provides an opportunity for youth to be engaged while getting a well-rounded understanding of why water is such a valuable resource.
That is why the AMWUA cities and regional partners understand the significance of educating younger generations on water, especially in our arid State. They strive to promote water education while highlighting the importance of conservation with both students and teachers by providing a variety of programs and resources for both inside the classroom and outdoors. After all, these students are the water stewards of tomorrow.
Throughout the school year, 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. Just last week, 800 fourth-grade students gathered in a community park in Peoria to get immersed in water knowledge. The students participated in water-themed educational activities which allowed the students to learn more about the water cycle, watershed, groundwater and water conservation – all of which are vital components to gaining a better understanding of this valuable resource.
Through the interactive and structured learning stations and exhibits, students were involved in hands-on water activities which makes learning more engaging and of course fun. These community water festival events are hosted by Arizona Project WET, with support from community partners. The Arizona WET Water Festivals have been running since 2000 and have engaged over 132,000 students 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 the engagement of the teachers 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 not only focuses on the importance of water but also assist teachers in evolving instructional practices and engages students in pursuing the answers to their questions. This structure helps educators teach water science concepts more effectively, and its working.
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 important part of our long-term sustainability.
Available resources for teachers and students provided by the AMWUA municipalities and regional partners can be found HERE.
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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