What do you get when you combine a water hauling race, a water cycle game, watershed and groundwater models and 1,400 Chandler area 4th graders? The annual Chandler Water Festival.
The Arizona Water Festival program is a water education unit developed and delivered by Arizona Project WET (Water Education for Teachers) through the University of Arizona Water Resources Research Center. Arizona Water Festivals instill a deeper understanding of water in the earth system and Arizona’s water resources through a community water festival event, teacher professional development workshop, and extensive volunteer and community involvement.
Arizona Project WET edits materials and produces programs that address Arizona's water challenges. Project WET aims to educate classroom teachers and other educators through workshops focused on interdisciplinary water curriculum.
Each participating teacher receives the Project WET Activity Guide upon completion of our teacher development course. The Activity Guide has more than 90 complete, teacher-tested lessons for grades K-12 and indices to aid instructional planning.
Chandler has sponsored the Chandler Water Festival since 2004, bringing water education to more than 500 Chandler teachers and more than 20,000 4th-grade students.
Water festivals consist of multiple structured learning stations where students actively engage in hands-on water activities and investigations. Once a year the City hosts the Chandler Water Festival. Approximately 1,000 fourth-grade students from eight Chandler schools attend the event and experience hands-on activities covering: water conservation, our water supply, ground water, surface water and the water cycle. Nationally, festivals will occur in all 50 states and in Arizona Water Festivals have reached more than 96,000 students statewide since the year 2000.
Water Festivals are designed to emphasize water education principles within a fun, interactive environment. Unlike traditional "look and leave" field trips, Water Festivals provide a solid educational framework for teachers and students. Pre- and post-festival activities and creative assessments are included in the materials provided to all participating teachers to help reinforce the lessons from the festival. While grounded in water science principles, water festivals also promote multidisciplinary approaches to learning by incorporating social studies, geography, language arts, art and journaling. All activities support state instructional standards.
The water festival format has proven to be an effective method of promoting awareness and increasing knowledge of water resources. Water festivals have been widely used to deliver factual, up-to-date information on a variety of water-related topics to both students and adults. The hands-on, interactive learning stations are designed to reach students with diverse learning styles, including those who may struggle in a traditional classroom setting.
Local water resource experts are used as instructors at the water festival stations, creating bridges between teachers, students and local experts that often result in follow-up visits. When outdoor sites are used as the water festival setting students to develop a connection with that natural area, often leading them to revisit the site with their parents or on their own.
Some of the subjects that will be addressed include the hydrologic cycle, ground water, spring water, water quality, wetlands, water management, water conservation, soils, living history and more. The water festivals teach children about an important topic in a manner that's fun and exciting.
Yes. The Water Festival Curriculum and Activity Guide is a collection of more than 90 interdisciplinary activities that deal with water-related topics. In addition, the exhibits and activities at the event are accompanied by materials to help teachers integrate more water-related activities into their curriculum.
One of the core beliefs of teaching water conservation is that wise water management is crucial for providing tomorrow's children with social and economic stability in a healthy environment. We also believe that awareness of and respect for water resources can encourage a personal, lifelong commitment of responsibility and positive community participation ensuring Chandler's water conservation program goal of instilling a water conservation ethic and permanently reducing water use.