What do you get when you combine a water hauling relay race, a water cycle game, a magic show and 1,000 Chandler area 4th graders? The annual Make a Splash Water Festival!
What is Make a Splash with Project WET?
Project WET (Water Education for Teachers) USA is coordinated locally by the Water Resources Research Center at The University of Arizona. Make a Splash with Project WET is a national day of water education. It is celebrated across the United States with water festivals, which are educational, fun, and interactive water celebrations where students explore a diversity of water-related topics.
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 participant receives the Project WET Activity Guide upon completion. The Activity Guide has more than 90 complete, teacher-tested lessons for grades K-12 and indices to aid instructional planning.
Make a Splash! is the component of Project WET that directly educates students- through Water Festivals.
What is a Water Festival?
Water festivals consist of multiple structured learning stations where students actively engage in hands-on water activities and investigations. Once each year Chandler hosts a Project WET Make A Splash Water Festival. Approximately one thousand 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 over 96,000 students statewide since the year 2000.
The Water Festival as an Educational Tool
Make a Splash with Project WET Water Festivals are designed to emphasize water education principles within a fun, interactive environment. Unlike traditional "look and leave" field trips, Project WET Water Festivals provide a solid educational framework for teachers and students. Pre- and post-festival activities and creative assessments are included in 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, crating 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 develop a connection with that natural area, often leading them to revisit the site with their parents or on their own.
What sorts of topics will be addressed at the event?
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, like all Project WET activities, teach children about an important topic in a manner that's fun and exciting.
Is the festival part of a larger curriculum of water education?
Yes. The Project WET Curriculum and Activity Guide is a collection of over 90 interdisciplinary activities that deal with water-related topics. To learn about this and other water education materials visit the Project WET online store. In addition, the exhibits and activities at the event are accompanied by materials to help teachers integrate more water-related activities into their curriculum.
Why is it important to teach children about water resources?
One of the core beliefs of Project WET 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.
Interested in participating in a Make A Splash Water Festival?
Volunteers are key to making this experience memorable for Chandler students.
Contact the City's Water Conservation Office