As students return to class across the region, the San Diego County Water Authority is offering schools, teachers and students an array of water-themed resources, including several that are free.
The Water Authority’s school education program has fostered an appreciation for the region’s most precious natural resource for more than 30 years. It has grown to include: three assembly shows; interactive exhibits in partnership with the Fleet Science Center and the San Diego County Office of Education; classroom posters and workbooks; and a scholarship challenge through the Greater San Diego Science & Engineering Fair. Details, including directions for participation, are at www.sdcwa.org/education.
“Students who learn where our water comes from and how to make the most of every drop become advocates for a safe and reliable water supply,” said Mark Muir, chair of the Water Authority’s Board of Directors. “Plus, kids and teachers have a lot of fun while they learn with our creative and interactive programs.”
- Free school-wide assembly programs that help elementary students understand the water cycle, how tap water gets to homes, water conservation, aquifers and watersheds, and related topics. This year, the Water Authority is offering a new quiz show-style format to complement its two long-running musical theater shows. All three options engage students from start to finish, and teach them important principles about water supplies and efficiency along the way.
- School visits from the Splash Science Mobile Lab, which allows students to investigate how water pollution affects the environment and the importance of using water efficiently through hands-on activities. These onsite “field trips” are offered for grades 4 through 6 in partnership with the Water Authority’s member agencies and the San Diego County Office of Education. The Splash Science Mobile Lab is aligned with the California Science Content Standards and Environmental Education Principles and Concepts.
- Free posters for elementary classrooms illustrating the water cycle and California’s major water distribution systems, funded by the Hans and Margaret Doe Charitable Trust. Teachers also may request class sets of workbooks addressing water issues.
- A 13-minute history of water in the region, accompanied by a digital flipbook. The Water Authority’s three-part video series, “To Quench a Thirst,” and the flipbook are at www.sdcwa.org/quench-thirst-documentary-series-highlights-regions-water-history. The Doe Charitable Trust also helped fund these resources.
- A major water-themed exhibit at the Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park, which was renovated this year with a grant from the Doe Charitable Trust. The updated exhibit, themed “Water Supply Reliability for the 21st Century: Innovation and Conservation,” underscores the countywide priorities of investing in water supply reliability while making the most of the region’s water resources. It is maintained in collaboration with the City of San Diego. For hours and fees at the science center, call (619) 238-1233 or go to www.rhfleet.org.
The Water Authority also offers scholarships for middle and high school students 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. The Water Authority does not require a separate form to be eligible for merit awards. For information about the science fair, go to www.gsdsef.org.
The Water Authority’s school education programs are part of the agency’s broader commitment to promote ongoing water-use efficiency no matter the weather. Through its Live WaterSmart outreach campaign, the Water Authority encourages residents and businesses to avoid water waste and to take advantage of regional water-saving resources, such as classes for WaterSmart landscape makeovers. For more information about how to Live WaterSmart, go to www.watersmartsd.org/.