As another school year begins, the San Diego County Water Authority is once again offering water-themed resources for schools, teachers and students across the region – and many of the opportunities are free.
For more than 30 years, the Water Authority’s school education program has fostered an appreciation for San Diego County’s most precious natural resource. The Water Authority currently offers two popular school assembly options, interactive exhibits in partnership with the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center and the Splash Mobile Science Lab, classroom materials, and a scholarship challenge through the Greater San Diego Science & Engineering Fair. Details about the Water Authority’s school education programs, including cost information and directions for participation, are at www.sdcwa.org/education.
“Students and teachers alike love these programs, and we encourage more schools to get involved,” said Mark Weston, chair of the Water Authority’s Board of Directors. “Through education, we will continue to build our region’s commitment to Live WaterSmart.
“Once students understand what it takes to provide a safe and reliable water supply, they become advocates for making the most of every drop. That awareness is the heart of our regional Live WaterSmart campaign to promote water-use efficiency as a positive and permanent way of life.”
Free, fun-filled assembly programs offered by the Water Authority are among the agency’s most popular educational resources. Through highly interactive musical theater and humor, the energy-filled events help elementary students learn about the water cycle, how tap water gets to homes, water conservation, aquifers and watersheds, and related topics.
Bringing “field trips” to schools is another popular learning activity offered through the Water Authority’s partnership with the Splash Science Mobile Lab, which is operated by the San Diego County Office of Education. The lab visits campuses around the region, providing students in grades 4 through 6 the chance to investigate through hands-on activities how water pollution affects the environment and the importance of using water efficiently. The Splash Science Mobile Lab is aligned with the California Science Content Standards and Environmental Education Principles and Concepts.
Elementary classrooms also can benefit from free posters illustrating the water cycle and California’s major water distribution systems, funded through a grant by the Hans and Margaret Doe Charitable Trust.
Students and teachers in higher-level grades may also use the Water Authority’s “To Quench a Thirst” video as a learning resource. It’s a 13-minute history of water in the region (available on DVD or online) that’s accompanied by a digital flipbook. The three-part video series and the flipbook are at www.sdcwa.org/quench-thirst-documentary-series-highlights-regions-water-history. The Hans and Margaret Doe Charitable Trust also helped fund these resources.
For middle and high school students, the Water Authority also offers scholarships up to $300 for outstanding water-related entries at the annual Greater San Diego Science & Engineering Fair. Prizes are awarded in both the junior and senior divisions, and they are presented to students at a Water Authority Board of Directors meeting each spring following the judging of fair entries.For information about the science fair,go to www.gsdsef.org. The Water Authority does not require a separate form to be eligible for merit awards.
In addition, the Water Authority partners with the City of San Diego to maintain a major water-themed exhibit at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park. For hours and fees at the science center, call (619) 238-1233 or go to www.rhfleet.org. The exhibit is scheduled for a major overhaul this fall, which will provide the region with enhanced opportunities to explore the critical and complex world of water.
The Water Authority is also working with local colleges and universities to promote the Live WaterSmart campaign this fall through signage, booths and other activities. For more information about Live WaterSmart, go to www.watersmartsd.org/.