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Updated: 13 hours 17 min ago

Water Education Haiku: Arizona Project WET Adds the A to STEAM

Thu, 2017-11-09 12:35

The team at Arizona Project WET recently submitted this batch of water education haiku. What would your water education haiku be? Use the #wethaiku hashtag to submit your own haiku on social media. We'll share the results with the world!

(1)

9 years getting WET

Ground, rain, recycled water

Helping teachers grow

(2)

Love to engineer

STEM Curriculum writing

Education day

(3)

Teachers, kids, public

Students, teachers, volunteers

Learn about water

(4)

Activate learning –

Ask questions to prompt thinking

… and discovery.

(5)

Aqua STEM knowledge.

Systems thinking in parts.

Water is the whole.

(6)

Water efficiency savings

Inspiring students

Making a difference.

(7)

Educators, Kids

Coordinating logistics

Successful Program

(8)

Thinks about water

Web, curriculum, teaching

Hands in every pot

Find Arizona Project WET on Twitter at @AZProjectWETand Facebook at @ArizonaProjectWET.

How I Use Project WET: Teaching About Water and Training Employees from Kentucky to Cambodia

Thu, 2017-11-02 10:48

Dana Oliver is a senior procurement specialist at Levi Strauss and a member of the company's Service Corps of volunteers In his professional life as the senior procurement specialist for Levi Strauss & Co.’s U.S. Distribution Network, Dana Oliver is generally concerned with acquiring goods and services for the company’s distribution centers. However, since being a part of the LS&Co. Service Corps last year—an immersion program that allows selected LS&Co. employees to experience what life is like for apparel workers in the developing world—his work life has an added dimension: teaching. Dana is helping fulfill a goal set to train all of the employees in Levi’s distribution centers in the United States and Canada to teach about water and sustainability using Project WET.

Luckily, teaching is in his blood. “The teaching part of working with Project WET has been like second nature to me,” Dana said in a recent interview. “The family business I grew up around involves teaching kids, so when I found out that part of my work with the Service Corps in Cambodia was going to be in front of a classroom, I was excited.”

Dana and his fellow Service Corps members were trained along with five local teachers and five factory workers to teach kids in the classroom about water. The group then visited a school near the factory and taught students about water using hands-on, interactive lessons. The trip made Dana appreciate the water resources available to him in Kentucky, where he lives now, even more than he had before.

Dana traveled to Cambodia with the Service Corps to learn about the lives of factory workers and to teach about water “When you travel to a place like Cambodia, you see firsthand the struggles that people have just getting water,” Dana said. “Once they get it, they then have to treat it to be usable. It made me feel very fortunate to be where I am.”

The experience also inspired Dana to train his fellow employees to teach about water. “The vice president of our distribution global supply chain has committed to having everyone in our distribution network trained by the end of 2017,” Dana explained. “We have three distribution centers in the United States and one in Canada, and each center has multiple shifts. I’ve been traveling to these centers and training trainers to accommodate all the shifts.”

Dana said that trainer classes for each shift have attracted six to 10 people. Those trainers in turn are responsible for reaching the folks on their shifts. “I have now done trainings in all three of our U.S. distribution facilities in Kentucky, Mississippi and Nevada, as well as our center in Canada,” Dana said.

One thing he enjoys about teaching people to use Project WET are the varied reactions he gets to the activities. “Different people are interested in different activities and tasks,” Dana said. “Some people love ‘Drop in the Bucket’; others love ‘Water Footprint’ or ‘Blue Planet’. I always encourage them to share presenter duties. That way a person can become an expert on one activity.”

While training adults to use the activities has become a specialty for Dana, he said that he also loves to teach children about water, as he did in Cambodia.

“I really enjoy working with kids,” he said, adding that the activities are effective because “the material is relevant to everyone—everyone can walk away from the program with something positive.”

Dana noted that his passion for water education stems from the desire to help people understand how they can have a positive impact on the environment.

“If each of us does just one small thing for water conservation, it could make a huge difference,” Dana said. “I always try to hammer home that water is the most precious resource on the planet.”

LS&Co. has been sponsoring the Project WET Foundation since 2015. In 2016, company leaders made a commitment at the White House to use Project WET to train 100 percent of their employees about water and sustainability by the year 2020. To learn more about what LS&Co. and Project WET are doing together, check out these stories:

 

McBee Water Festival in Pictures

Thu, 2017-10-26 12:44

Last week’s water festival at the Nestlé Waters North America (NWNA) plant in McBee, South Carolina, brought together 75 fourth graders from two different local schools. Using Project WET activities such as “The Incredible Journey”, “Aqua Bodies”, “Blue Planet” and “The Long Haul”, 12 NWNA volunteers and 15 high school students from a local chapter of the Future Farmers of America (FFA) taught the fourth graders about water conservation, the water cycle, stream health and hydration.

Here are a few pictures of the day's educational fun:

Students gathered in McBee to learn about water

The Long Haul activity teaches students about the challenges of moving water

This activity helps students understand that we all live downstream

The Aqua Bodies activity explains how much water is in the body and how it is used

The Incredible Journey makes students into water drops traveling through the water cycle

 

McBee Water Festival in Pictures

Thu, 2017-10-26 12:44

Last week’s water festival at the Nestlé Waters North America (NWNA) plant in McBee, South Carolina, brought together 75 fourth graders from two different local schools. Using Project WET activities such as “The Incredible Journey”, “Aqua Bodies”, “Blue Planet” and “The Long Haul”, 12 NWNA volunteers and 15 high school students from a local chapter of the Future Farmers of America (FFA) taught the fourth graders about water conservation, the water cycle, stream health and hydration.

Here are a few pictures of the day's educational fun:

Students gathered in McBee to learn about water

The Long Haul activity teaches students about the challenges of moving water

This activity helps students understand that we all live downstream

The Aqua Bodies activity explains how much water is in the body and how it is used

The Incredible Journey makes students into water drops traveling through the water cycle

 

Guest Post: New 'Flood Fighter' Video Game Teaches About Emergency Preparedness

Wed, 2017-10-25 13:35

Mary Kay Wagner, Nevada Project WET Coordinator by Mary Kay Wagner, Project WET Nevada Coordinator

In 2017, the Nevada Division of Water Resources (NDWR) embarked on several initiatives aimed at reducing flood risk through education and outreach. One of these initiatives, spearheaded by Nevada’s Silver Jackets program (a state-led interagency team working to reduce the risk of flooding and other natural disasters), includes a fun and educational video computer game that teaches people about emergency planning and different flooding scenarios.

Flood Fighter: Nevada is a new video game developed by the Nevada Division of Water Resources, which also sponsors Project WET in Nevada Flood Fighter: Nevada engages students in a technology-based engineering project that has real-world relevance. Game play initiates conversation and further inquiry regarding local flood concerns and the management of public and precious resources. Flood risk reduction is not just about “structural” solutions such as building dams and levees. It’s also about employing “non-structural” solutions, such as knowing what types of flood risks are in a community, how to prepare for these risks and how to improve resilience to natural disasters. When teaching about water resources, this innovative video game promotes awareness about the challenges of water management.

Student-gamers are challenged, entertained and educated as game play levels, technical details, graphics, and delivery of flood risk information are well designed and executed. It enriches STEM education, as an interactive tool and is a great supplement to Project WET activities such as "Macroinvertebrate Mayhem" and "Water Quality? Ask the Bugs!".

The Nevada Division of Water Resources Floodplain Management Program plans to use the Flood Fighter: Nevada video game as an outreach tool for ages 10 and up.

Guest Post: New 'Flood Fighter' Video Game Teaches About Emergency Preparedness

Wed, 2017-10-25 13:35

Mary Kay Wagner, Nevada Project WET Coordinator by Mary Kay Wagner, Project WET Nevada Coordinator

In 2017, the Nevada Division of Water Resources (NDWR) embarked on several initiatives aimed at reducing flood risk through education and outreach. One of these initiatives, spearheaded by Nevada’s Silver Jackets program (a state-led interagency team working to reduce the risk of flooding and other natural disasters), includes a fun and educational video computer game that teaches people about emergency planning and different flooding scenarios.

Flood Fighter: Nevada is a new video game developed by the Nevada Division of Water Resources, which also sponsors Project WET in Nevada Flood Fighter: Nevada engages students in a technology-based engineering project that has real-world relevance. Game play initiates conversation and further inquiry regarding local flood concerns and the management of public and precious resources. Flood risk reduction is not just about “structural” solutions such as building dams and levees. It’s also about employing “non-structural” solutions, such as knowing what types of flood risks are in a community, how to prepare for these risks and how to improve resilience to natural disasters. When teaching about water resources, this innovative video game promotes awareness about the challenges of water management.

Student-gamers are challenged, entertained and educated as game play levels, technical details, graphics, and delivery of flood risk information are well designed and executed. It enriches STEM education, as an interactive tool and is a great supplement to Project WET activities such as "Macroinvertebrate Mayhem" and "Water Quality? Ask the Bugs!".

The Nevada Division of Water Resources Floodplain Management Program plans to use the Flood Fighter: Nevada video game as an outreach tool for ages 10 and up.

How I Use Project WET: Whetting Kids’ Appetites for STEAM

Thu, 2017-10-19 12:06

By Jason Vanzant, STEAM lab educator, Newport, North Carolina

Jason earned a grant to build a STEAM lab in the elementary school where he was teaching Editor’s Note: In a recent post on his Vantaztic Learning blog, Jason Vanzant (a.k.a. @MrVantaztic on Twitter) called his new job as a science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM) instructor a dream come true. It’s a dream he’s worked hard to achieve, winning a grant for just over $50,000 from Lowe’s Education Toolbox earlier this year. The grant allowed him to turn a classroom in Bogue Sound Elementary School—a K-5 school in Newport, North Carolina, where he had been teaching fourth grade—into a functional STEAM lab. After we contacted him via Twitter, he wrote a guest post telling us how and why he uses Project WET, as well as why water education is important to him.

Water is and has been important to me since I was a kid. I remember watching Sesame Street's snippet on brushing your teeth and why turning the faucet off was important. When I was in 5th grade, I began to consciously select water instead of soft drinks as my beverage of choice, and that has remained a constant in my life to this day.

As a kid I swam in quarry ponds, and now I live in an area of estuaries and Atlantic waves. Water is part of our life force: Nearly three-quarters of our planet is covered with water, and our bodies are made up of 60 percent water. It's important for our future that young people be aware of how much water we have to share, compared to the increasing population it must provide for, and know what responsible measures we must take to ensure its continuous use. 

Jason is dedicated to providing hands-on experiences for his students I have been fortunate in many aspects of my career. Receiving a grant through Lowe's Toolbox for Education to renovate a classroom into a full functioning lab encompassing areas of science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics has been an incredible opportunity. The STEAM lab serves as the hub for all elementary grade levels, offering students an opportunity to create, explore through hands-on experiences and develop critical thinking skills. The lab also provides educators the opportunity to co-teach and gives students alternative methods to learn from one another.

In the lab, all students have access to various forms of technology that allow them to voice their findings and discoveries on social media platforms, learn to code, operate robotics and track and record data. They can apply the data that they track and record to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Program, while also being able to explore by means of interactive digital labs and supplement as a resource for research.

Overall, the goal of the STEAM lab renovation project is to have each student increase their appetite for one of the many fields science has to offer, and pique those interests by supplying young minds with an environment that engages and stimulates.

As a full-time STEAM instructor, my role allows me to co-teach with grade levels K-5, meeting their science content, assisting as a math coach and leading students in engineering, problem-based and project-based learning activities. Project WET, Project WILD and Project WILD Aquatic play large roles in many of the lessons I integrate into our learning. All of these resources are my "playbook". What I love about Project WET's activities is that they cover an array of skills and topics within a lesson. The integration of math skills, tied with environmental science, tied to problem-based learning and critical thinking is incredible. What I love above all else is that the activities are hands-on. They reach those students who are the “do-ers”.

The Incredible Journey is one of Jason's favorite activities There are so many activities to choose from that picking my favorites is tough, but here are three of my particular favorites:

A Drop in the Bucket: This activity is a great way to make students conscientious about water while also showing metric volume measurement and practicing basic subtraction facts. Students can create graphs to match the visuals from the graduated cylinders and can compare how much water is on our planet versus how much water the human race actually has at our disposal. With an ever-increasing population, this one's a wake-up call to my students.

The Incredible Journey: I love that this gets the kids outdoors and moving. It’s an awesome way for students to move through the water cycle and learn important vocabulary, like evaporation, transpiration and sublimation. I use this activity as a precursor to discussing physical changes for fifth graders. Students roll the dice, keep a record of the stations they travel to (groundwater, glaciers, the ocean, clouds, animals, plants, rivers, soil) and then we gather back to analyze the data and compare results.

What’s the Solution? This one's a forensic investigation, as students use their knowledge of water's solvent properties and chemical changes. They read a case and explore through three hands-on stations (Dissolving Solids in Water, Dissolving Liquids in Water, Dissolving Gases in Water) to figure out that the butler might actually have done it (or not).  It’s another great critical thinking lesson.

Thank you, Project WET.  Thank you for the cross curricular lessons, the hands-on experiences you provide, the awareness of why water is so vital to our existence and the fun that comes with learning.  You've made my job that much easier and more enjoyable.

How I Use Project WET: Whetting Kids’ Appetites for STEAM

Thu, 2017-10-19 12:06

By Jason Vanzant, STEAM lab educator, Newport, North Carolina

Jason earned a grant to build a STEAM lab in the elementary school where he was teaching Editor’s Note: In a recent post on his Vantaztic Learning blog, Jason Vanzant (a.k.a. @MrVantaztic on Twitter) called his new job as a science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM) instructor a dream come true. It’s a dream he’s worked hard to achieve, winning a grant for just over $50,000 from Lowe’s Education Toolbox earlier this year. The grant allowed him to turn a classroom in Bogue Sound Elementary School—a K-5 school in Newport, North Carolina, where he had been teaching fourth grade—into a functional STEAM lab. After we contacted him via Twitter, he wrote a guest post telling us how and why he uses Project WET, as well as why water education is important to him.

Water is and has been important to me since I was a kid. I remember watching Sesame Street's snippet on brushing your teeth and why turning the faucet off was important. When I was in 5th grade, I began to consciously select water instead of soft drinks as my beverage of choice, and that has remained a constant in my life to this day.

As a kid I swam in quarry ponds, and now I live in an area of estuaries and Atlantic waves. Water is part of our life force: Nearly three-quarters of our planet is covered with water, and our bodies are made up of 60 percent water. It's important for our future that young people be aware of how much water we have to share, compared to the increasing population it must provide for, and know what responsible measures we must take to ensure its continuous use. 

Jason is dedicated to providing hands-on experiences for his students I have been fortunate in many aspects of my career. Receiving a grant through Lowe's Toolbox for Education to renovate a classroom into a full functioning lab encompassing areas of science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics has been an incredible opportunity. The STEAM lab serves as the hub for all elementary grade levels, offering students an opportunity to create, explore through hands-on experiences and develop critical thinking skills. The lab also provides educators the opportunity to co-teach and gives students alternative methods to learn from one another.

In the lab, all students have access to various forms of technology that allow them to voice their findings and discoveries on social media platforms, learn to code, operate robotics and track and record data. They can apply the data that they track and record to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Program, while also being able to explore by means of interactive digital labs and supplement as a resource for research.

Overall, the goal of the STEAM lab renovation project is to have each student increase their appetite for one of the many fields science has to offer, and pique those interests by supplying young minds with an environment that engages and stimulates.

As a full-time STEAM instructor, my role allows me to co-teach with grade levels K-5, meeting their science content, assisting as a math coach and leading students in engineering, problem-based and project-based learning activities. Project WET, Project WILD and Project WILD Aquatic play large roles in many of the lessons I integrate into our learning. All of these resources are my "playbook". What I love about Project WET's activities is that they cover an array of skills and topics within a lesson. The integration of math skills, tied with environmental science, tied to problem-based learning and critical thinking is incredible. What I love above all else is that the activities are hands-on. They reach those students who are the “do-ers”.

The Incredible Journey is one of Jason's favorite activities There are so many activities to choose from that picking my favorites is tough, but here are three of my particular favorites:

A Drop in the Bucket: This activity is a great way to make students conscientious about water while also showing metric volume measurement and practicing basic subtraction facts. Students can create graphs to match the visuals from the graduated cylinders and can compare how much water is on our planet versus how much water the human race actually has at our disposal. With an ever-increasing population, this one's a wake-up call to my students.

The Incredible Journey: I love that this gets the kids outdoors and moving. It’s an awesome way for students to move through the water cycle and learn important vocabulary, like evaporation, transpiration and sublimation. I use this activity as a precursor to discussing physical changes for fifth graders. Students roll the dice, keep a record of the stations they travel to (groundwater, glaciers, the ocean, clouds, animals, plants, rivers, soil) and then we gather back to analyze the data and compare results.

What’s the Solution? This one's a forensic investigation, as students use their knowledge of water's solvent properties and chemical changes. They read a case and explore through three hands-on stations (Dissolving Solids in Water, Dissolving Liquids in Water, Dissolving Gases in Water) to figure out that the butler might actually have done it (or not).  It’s another great critical thinking lesson.

Thank you, Project WET.  Thank you for the cross curricular lessons, the hands-on experiences you provide, the awareness of why water is so vital to our existence and the fun that comes with learning.  You've made my job that much easier and more enjoyable.

WaterStar: Ecolab’s E3 Group

Fri, 2017-09-29 08:32

This is the latest in a series of posts highlighting people around the world who embody the ideals of the Clean and Conserve Education Program: making the world a safer and healthier place through water conservation and hygiene education. WaterStars will receive printed copies of each book as well as enamel WaterStar pins to recognize their work. Anyone who has used the Clean and Conserve materials is eligible for consideration to be a WaterStar award winner. Submit your story to learn more.

The Ecolab E3 group focuses on empowering, engaging, and energizing women E3 is an employee resource group at Ecolab focused on empowering, engaging, and energizing Ecolab to measurably accelerate the advancement of women leaders to drive business growth. E3 members can take advantage of networking events, professional development seminars, mentorship and programs to enhance our communities. Members are also encouraged to engage with E3 to get hands-on experience with project and program management. By connecting passionate employees with these opportunities, the community outreach committee within E3 was able to successfully initiate a program to support Project WET and utilize the Clean and Conserve Education materials in 2017.

So far, the group has held three successful events with one more planned with a local STEM magnet school later this year. One of the ways their work with Clean and Conserve is unique is their focus on partnering with nonprofits as well as local schools. Their first event, held at a local Boys and Girls Club, reached 60 students in grades three through six. Another event brought the Clean and Conserve materials to Greater Twin Cities United Way’s Action Day, sharing information and WaterStar tattoos with 120 students ages five to 15. Naturally, their Ecolab colleagues also benefit from the E3 group’s interest in water conservation and hygiene education. On the company’s Bring Your Child to Work day, the E3 group shared the “Blue Planet” and “Conserve Water” activities with 160 students, ages eight to 12.

E3 members taught kids at the Boys and Girls Club and at a United Way event about water conservation and hygiene We connected with the E3 group’s co-leads—Kaycee (Reynolds) Strewler, M.S., a Product Label Specialist with Ecolab’s Institutional Marketing department; Wendi Rodewald, a Senior Distribution Specialist with Ecolab’s Global Operations Supply Chain Logistics department; and Elizabeth McCall, M.Ch.E., a Lead Chemical Engineer with the Research and Development department—to find out how E3 is using Clean and Conserve and why:

Project WET Foundation (PWF): Why did you decide to seek out the Clean and Conserve resources to use with the group?

Ecolab’s E3 Group Co-leads (E3): The Clean and Conserve resources seem to align well with our vision for the E3 community outreach group by being both applicable to larger Ecolab business initiatives and also scalable across multiple E3 chapters. We appreciate the fact that the resources were developed through a partnership with Ecolab scientists and after reviewing the material, found that the modules were fun, interactive, and easy to teach. We knew these criteria would be essential as we broadened the scope of the program through increased material distribution while ensuring lesson retention by students. In addition, we knew that if volunteers enjoyed teaching the material, we could build a sustaining program that would encourage repeat participation.

PWF: What activities or resources have you found particularly useful and why?

One Clean and Conserve activity helps kids understand the healthy actions they can take to prevent illness E3: We love all of the activities - there are plenty of options to educate students of all age groups, group sizes, and activity levels. We found the estimation of water on the globe/beach ball exercise (Blue Planet) to be a fantastic, quick ice breaker that students spanning in ages from 8-13 enjoy. We also utilized the healthy personal hygiene exercise/human knot, a great, quick demonstration of the program in action, and the surface sanitation solutions/tag game, a fun, interactive game with students requiring little in the way of materials or set-up.

PWF: How do you see yourself using the materials in the future?

E3: Our goal as we build this program within our organization is to increase visibility and create something replicable/scalable. We plan to continue developing our partnership with the local Boys & Girls Club organization and STEM magnet schools. We will have a few planned events each year that will serve as the priority focus of the program but will also offer ongoing support as other groups within Ecolab seek to utilize the Clean and Conserve program in their outreach efforts.

 

The Clean and Conserve Education Program, developed through the partnership between the Project WET Foundation and Ecolab, includes lessons, activities and other learning resources for children and youth ages three through 18, as well as educators. Visit the Clean and Conserve page to learn more. Originally published in English, Clean and Conserve materials are also available in Mandarin, Spanish for MexicoGerman, French for Canada and Portuguese for Brazil (French and Portuguese materials are available for download from the English-language page).

Other WaterStars:

Joseph Dabuo of Ghana (June 23, 2016)

Ashley Satterfield of the USA (July 20, 2016)

Supriya Khound of India (October 25, 2016)

Jamice Obianyo of the USA (January 19, 2017)

EECO Foundation of Pakistan (February 1, 2017)

Beautiful Minds Ethiopia (March 10, 2017)

Doña Ana Mutual Domestic Water Consumers Association (USA) June 12, 2017

WaterStar: Ecolab’s E3 Group

Fri, 2017-09-29 08:32

This is the latest in a series of posts highlighting people around the world who embody the ideals of the Clean and Conserve Education Program: making the world a safer and healthier place through water conservation and hygiene education. WaterStars will receive printed copies of each book as well as enamel WaterStar pins to recognize their work. Anyone who has used the Clean and Conserve materials is eligible for consideration to be a WaterStar award winner. Submit your story to learn more.

The Ecolab E3 group focuses on empowering, engaging, and energizing women E3 is an employee resource group at Ecolab focused on empowering, engaging, and energizing Ecolab to measurably accelerate the advancement of women leaders to drive business growth. E3 members can take advantage of networking events, professional development seminars, mentorship and programs to enhance our communities. Members are also encouraged to engage with E3 to get hands-on experience with project and program management. By connecting passionate employees with these opportunities, the community outreach committee within E3 was able to successfully initiate a program to support Project WET and utilize the Clean and Conserve Education materials in 2017.

So far, the group has held three successful events with one more planned with a local STEM magnet school later this year. One of the ways their work with Clean and Conserve is unique is their focus on partnering with nonprofits as well as local schools. Their first event, held at a local Boys and Girls Club, reached 60 students in grades three through six. Another event brought the Clean and Conserve materials to Greater Twin Cities United Way’s Action Day, sharing information and WaterStar tattoos with 120 students ages five to 15. Naturally, their Ecolab colleagues also benefit from the E3 group’s interest in water conservation and hygiene education. On the company’s Bring Your Child to Work day, the E3 group shared the “Blue Planet” and “Conserve Water” activities with 160 students, ages eight to 12.

E3 members taught kids at the Boys and Girls Club and at a United Way event about water conservation and hygiene We connected with the E3 group’s co-leads—Kaycee (Reynolds) Strewler, M.S., a Product Label Specialist with Ecolab’s Institutional Marketing department; Wendi Rodewald, a Senior Distribution Specialist with Ecolab’s Global Operations Supply Chain Logistics department; and Elizabeth McCall, M.Ch.E., a Lead Chemical Engineer with the Research and Development department—to find out how E3 is using Clean and Conserve and why:

Project WET Foundation (PWF): Why did you decide to seek out the Clean and Conserve resources to use with the group?

Ecolab’s E3 Group Co-leads (E3): The Clean and Conserve resources seem to align well with our vision for the E3 community outreach group by being both applicable to larger Ecolab business initiatives and also scalable across multiple E3 chapters. We appreciate the fact that the resources were developed through a partnership with Ecolab scientists and after reviewing the material, found that the modules were fun, interactive, and easy to teach. We knew these criteria would be essential as we broadened the scope of the program through increased material distribution while ensuring lesson retention by students. In addition, we knew that if volunteers enjoyed teaching the material, we could build a sustaining program that would encourage repeat participation.

PWF: What activities or resources have you found particularly useful and why?

One Clean and Conserve activity helps kids understand the healthy actions they can take to prevent illness E3: We love all of the activities - there are plenty of options to educate students of all age groups, group sizes, and activity levels. We found the estimation of water on the globe/beach ball exercise (Blue Planet) to be a fantastic, quick ice breaker that students spanning in ages from 8-13 enjoy. We also utilized the healthy personal hygiene exercise/human knot, a great, quick demonstration of the program in action, and the surface sanitation solutions/tag game, a fun, interactive game with students requiring little in the way of materials or set-up.

PWF: How do you see yourself using the materials in the future?

E3: Our goal as we build this program within our organization is to increase visibility and create something replicable/scalable. We plan to continue developing our partnership with the local Boys & Girls Club organization and STEM magnet schools. We will have a few planned events each year that will serve as the priority focus of the program but will also offer ongoing support as other groups within Ecolab seek to utilize the Clean and Conserve program in their outreach efforts.

 

The Clean and Conserve Education Program, developed through the partnership between the Project WET Foundation and Ecolab, includes lessons, activities and other learning resources for children and youth ages three through 18, as well as educators. Visit the Clean and Conserve page to learn more. Originally published in English, Clean and Conserve materials are also available in Mandarin, Spanish for MexicoGerman, French for Canada and Portuguese for Brazil (French and Portuguese materials are available for download from the English-language page).

Other WaterStars:

Joseph Dabuo of Ghana (June 23, 2016)

Ashley Satterfield of the USA (July 20, 2016)

Supriya Khound of India (October 25, 2016)

Jamice Obianyo of the USA (January 19, 2017)

EECO Foundation of Pakistan (February 1, 2017)

Beautiful Minds Ethiopia (March 10, 2017)

Doña Ana Mutual Domestic Water Consumers Association (USA) June 12, 2017

Guest Post: Michigan, the Water Wonderland

Mon, 2017-09-25 10:13

Editor's note: The 2017 Project WET USA Coordinators Conference starts October 2nd in Traverse City, Michigan, with new coordinator training. The rest of the conference runs from October 2-5. Project WET Michigan Coordinator Janet Vail has been organizing the conference all year and submitted this fun article about Michigan, the Water Wonderland.

by Dr. Janet Vail, Michigan Project WET Coordinator 

Yoopers?  Trolls? Down-staters?  Fudgies?  We have them all in Michigan.  So what are they?

Yooper: A person who lives in the U.P. or Upper Peninsula. Michigan acquired the U.P. after a dispute with Ohio. Michigan and Ohio both wanted a 468 square mile strip of land along their borders near Toledo. The two states mustered militias, but no battle was ever fought. Eventually, Congress devised a compromise that gave the disputed land to Ohio. To make up for the lost property, Congress gave Michigan the Upper Peninsula, which was originally part of a U.S. territory. At first, it seemed like a bad deal for Michigan until copper and iron were discovered in the U.P. Some of the animosity between Michigan and Ohio seems to continue today, but now the states duke it out in university stadiums. The rivalry between the University of Michigan and Ohio State is like no other.

Troll: A person who lives in lower Michigan or below the Mackinac Bridge. “Up north” means the northern part of the lower peninsula – not the U.P.

Down-staters: A term for people who live in lower Michigan and travel north of the 45th parallel.  This is where most of the people live – think the Detroit metro area.

Fudgies: People who live anywhere in Michigan other than Mackinac Island and travel to the island to buy fudge.  By the way, Michiganders pronounce “Mackinac” as “Mackinaw”.

No matter where you live in Michigan, there is water nearby. The state's name, Michigan, is of French origins (form of the Ojibwe word) mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake".  You’re never more than 85 miles from the shores of a Great Lake – Superior, Huron, Michigan or Erie. Anyone can drive to the beach for the day to visit the 3,288 miles of coastline. No place in Michigan is more than six miles from one of the 64,980 inland lakes.

 

Guest Post: Michigan, the Water Wonderland

Mon, 2017-09-25 10:13

Editor's note: The 2017 Project WET USA Coordinators Conference starts October 2nd in Traverse City, Michigan, with new coordinator training. The rest of the conference runs from October 2-5. Project WET Michigan Coordinator Janet Vail has been organizing the conference all year and submitted this fun article about Michigan, the Water Wonderland.

by Dr. Janet Vail, Michigan Project WET Coordinator 

Yoopers?  Trolls? Down-staters?  Fudgies?  We have them all in Michigan.  So what are they?

Yooper: A person who lives in the U.P. or Upper Peninsula. Michigan acquired the U.P. after a dispute with Ohio. Michigan and Ohio both wanted a 468 square mile strip of land along their borders near Toledo. The two states mustered militias, but no battle was ever fought. Eventually, Congress devised a compromise that gave the disputed land to Ohio. To make up for the lost property, Congress gave Michigan the Upper Peninsula, which was originally part of a U.S. territory. At first, it seemed like a bad deal for Michigan until copper and iron were discovered in the U.P. Some of the animosity between Michigan and Ohio seems to continue today, but now the states duke it out in university stadiums. The rivalry between the University of Michigan and Ohio State is like no other.

Troll: A person who lives in lower Michigan or below the Mackinac Bridge. “Up north” means the northern part of the lower peninsula – not the U.P.

Down-staters: A term for people who live in lower Michigan and travel north of the 45th parallel.  This is where most of the people live – think the Detroit metro area.

Fudgies: People who live anywhere in Michigan other than Mackinac Island and travel to the island to buy fudge.  By the way, Michiganders pronounce “Mackinac” as “Mackinaw”.

No matter where you live in Michigan, there is water nearby. The state's name, Michigan, is of French origins (form of the Ojibwe word) mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake".  You’re never more than 85 miles from the shores of a Great Lake – Superior, Huron, Michigan or Erie. Anyone can drive to the beach for the day to visit the 3,288 miles of coastline. No place in Michigan is more than six miles from one of the 64,980 inland lakes.

 

Outdoor educator and Americorps volunteer uses Project WET to teach thousands about water

Wed, 2017-09-20 14:12

Outdoor Educator Ian Taylor "Learning outdoors has always been a part of my life," explains Ian Taylor. Taylor, currently the education and field trips coordinator for a land trust in California’s Tulare County via the Americorps national service program, has spent the last five years teaching people about the environment all over the United States.

"I was very active in scouting as a child and young adult, culminating in my becoming an Eagle Scout, and I went to Hocking College to earn degrees in both Eco-Tourism/Adventure Travel and Wildlife Resource Management," Ian says. However, even with all of this emphasis on environmental education, Ian says he had never heard of Project WET until he opened his first Project WET Guide in the fall of 2012.

"I had been charged with creating a nature program for kids to use as a learning tool at Camp Wyandot in southeast Ohio, he recalls. "I soon discovered in learning about Project WET activities that I had actually used many of them during camps I attended in my youth and during my time in school—I just hadn’t realized they were Project WET!"

Ian has worked with thousands of students of all ages, like these in Ohio, in his career as an outdoor educator Since finishing his program in 2012, Ian has attended four Project WET trainings in three different states—Ohio, Indiana and California. The most recent training was at the Tulare County Office of Education (in California), and it was accompanied by a lecture on climate change and a panel of scientists to answer questions.

Ian says that these trainings have helped him in his career as an outdoor educator, during which he estimates he has reached several thousand people--adults, college students, grades K-12 and the community at large.

"I was the nature and outdoor living skills coordinator at Camp Wyandot in Rockbridge, Ohio," Ian relates. "I then served as a professional outdoor instructor at Bradford Woods in Martinsville, Indiana, which is the adjunct Outdoor Education Facility for Indiana University. I later became the environmental education specialist and oversaw the training staff. Many of the activities we trained our staff to use were from Project WET. Currently, I am wrapping up a term of service in AmeriCorps where I am serving Tulare County as the Education and Field Trips Coordinator for a land trust here in the valley."

Ian working with camp counselors in Ohio on a fishing program Ian says that his favorite activity is Macroinvertebrate Mayhem, in which kids learn about water quality through the competition of macroinvertebrates.

"It’s not just a WONDERFUL way to teach about macros; it’s engaging, active and hilarious to watch," he says. "There are no 'winners' or 'losers'. Everyone learns and it provides an opportunity for adults to get involved. I pair this with a macroinvertebrate hunt and I have an entire lesson that covers several NGSS standards."

According to Ian, the reason teaching people about water is important is because water is life.

"It gives life, and it is strong enough to take it away," he notes. "Water is everywhere and essential to understanding the world and its ecosystems. Water brings people together or divides by causing wars, scarcity or physical barriers. When I was in Ohio, there was plenty of water, but much of it has been tainted with chemicals from acid mining. When I came to California, I settled in a place that had been in a six-year drought and has limited resources for storing water when it does rain. Thousands of miles apart and on opposite ends of a social and political spectrum but many problems revolve around the same issue of water scarcity."

Outdoor educator and Americorps volunteer uses Project WET to teach thousands about water

Wed, 2017-09-20 14:12

Outdoor Educator Ian Taylor "Learning outdoors has always been a part of my life," explains Ian Taylor. Taylor, currently the education and field trips coordinator for a land trust in California’s Tulare County via the Americorps national service program, has spent the last five years teaching people about the environment all over the United States.

"I was very active in scouting as a child and young adult, culminating in my becoming an Eagle Scout, and I went to Hocking College to earn degrees in both Eco-Tourism/Adventure Travel and Wildlife Resource Management," Ian says. However, even with all of this emphasis on environmental education, Ian says he had never heard of Project WET until he opened his first Project WET Guide in the fall of 2012.

"I had been charged with creating a nature program for kids to use as a learning tool at Camp Wyandot in southeast Ohio, he recalls. "I soon discovered in learning about Project WET activities that I had actually used many of them during camps I attended in my youth and during my time in school—I just hadn’t realized they were Project WET!"

Ian has worked with thousands of students of all ages, like these in Ohio, in his career as an outdoor educator Since finishing his program in 2012, Ian has attended four Project WET trainings in three different states—Ohio, Indiana and California. The most recent training was at the Tulare County Office of Education (in California), and it was accompanied by a lecture on climate change and a panel of scientists to answer questions.

Ian says that these trainings have helped him in his career as an outdoor educator, during which he estimates he has reached several thousand people--adults, college students, grades K-12 and the community at large.

"I was the nature and outdoor living skills coordinator at Camp Wyandot in Rockbridge, Ohio," Ian relates. "I then served as a professional outdoor instructor at Bradford Woods in Martinsville, Indiana, which is the adjunct Outdoor Education Facility for Indiana University. I later became the environmental education specialist and oversaw the training staff. Many of the activities we trained our staff to use were from Project WET. Currently, I am wrapping up a term of service in AmeriCorps where I am serving Tulare County as the Education and Field Trips Coordinator for a land trust here in the valley."

Ian working with camp counselors in Ohio on a fishing program Ian says that his favorite activity is Macroinvertebrate Mayhem, in which kids learn about water quality through the competition of macroinvertebrates.

"It’s not just a WONDERFUL way to teach about macros; it’s engaging, active and hilarious to watch," he says. "There are no 'winners' or 'losers'. Everyone learns and it provides an opportunity for adults to get involved. I pair this with a macroinvertebrate hunt and I have an entire lesson that covers several NGSS standards."

According to Ian, the reason teaching people about water is important is because water is life.

"It gives life, and it is strong enough to take it away," he notes. "Water is everywhere and essential to understanding the world and its ecosystems. Water brings people together or divides by causing wars, scarcity or physical barriers. When I was in Ohio, there was plenty of water, but much of it has been tainted with chemicals from acid mining. When I came to California, I settled in a place that had been in a six-year drought and has limited resources for storing water when it does rain. Thousands of miles apart and on opposite ends of a social and political spectrum but many problems revolve around the same issue of water scarcity."

How I Use Project WET: Helping People Understand Water Locally and Globally

Mon, 2017-09-18 13:29

Editor’s Note: Currently the education and field trips coordinator for a land trust in California’s Tulare County via the Americorps national service program, Ian Taylor has spent the last five years teaching people about the environment, all over the United States. Passionate about water in particular, Ian says that Project WET activities help give participants perspective and insight into global water issues. Thanks to Project WET California Coordinator Brian Brown for originally sharing Ian's story with us.

Outdoor Educator Ian Taylor By Ian Taylor, Outdoor Educator

Learning outdoors has always been a part of my life. I was very active in scouting as a child and young adult, culminating in my becoming an Eagle Scout, and I went to Hocking College to earn degrees in both Eco-Tourism/Adventure Travel and Wildlife Resource Management. However, even with all of this emphasis on environmental education, I had never heard of Project WET until I opened my first Project WET Guide in the fall of 2012. I had been charged with creating a nature program for kids to use as a learning tool at Camp Wyandot in southeast Ohio. I soon discovered in learning about Project WET activities that I had actually used many of them during camps I attended in my youth and during my time in school—I just hadn’t realized they were Project WET!

Since finishing my program in 2012, I have attended four Project WET trainings in three different states—Ohio, Indiana and California. The most recent training was at the Tulare County Office of Education (in California), and it was accompanied by a lecture on climate change and a panel of scientists to answer questions.

Environmental educator Ian Taylor training Ohio camp counselors to help kids engage with the natural world These trainings have helped me in my career as an outdoor educator. I was the nature and outdoor living skills coordinator at Camp Wyandot in Rockbridge, Ohio. I then served as a professional outdoor instructor at Bradford Woods in Martinsville, Indiana, which is the adjunct Outdoor Education Facility for Indiana University. I later became the environmental education specialist and oversaw the training staff. Many of the activities we trained our staff to use were from Project WET. Currently, I am wrapping up a term of service in AmeriCorps where I am serving Tulare County as the Education and Field Trips Coordinator for a land trust here in the valley. I would estimate that in my career so far, I have worked with several thousand people. Probably the largest group are the fifth graders I worked with during my time in Indiana. I have also worked with adults, college students, grades K-12 and the community at large.

My favorite Project WET activity is Macroinvertebrate Mayhem. It’s not just a WONDERFUL way to teach about macros; it’s engaging, active and hilarious to watch. There are no “winners” or “losers”. Everyone learns and it provides an opportunity for adults to get involved. I pair this with a macroinvertebrate hunt and I have an entire lesson that covers several NGSS standards. (As an aside, Bradford Woods was featured on a PBS program called “Indiana Weekend” in 2016. The video embedded below features footage of me leading the macro search in Fern Valley. The whole thing is great, but about 9 minutes is when they start our footage.)

Ian has worked with thousands of students of all ages, like these in Ohio, in his career as an outdoor educator In general, teaching people about water is important to me because water is life. It gives life, and it is strong enough to take it away. Water is everywhere and essential to understanding the world and its ecosystems. Water brings people together or divides by causing wars, scarcity or physical barriers. When I was in Ohio, there was plenty of water, but much of it has been tainted with chemicals from acid mining. When I came to California, I settled in a place that had been in a six-year drought and has limited resources for storing water when it does rain. Thousands of miles apart and on opposite ends of a social and political spectrum but many problems revolve around the same issue of water scarcity.

How I Use Project WET: Helping People Understand Water Locally and Globally

Mon, 2017-09-18 13:29

Editor’s Note: Currently the education and field trips coordinator for a land trust in California’s Tulare County via the Americorps national service program, Ian Taylor has spent the last five years teaching people about the environment, all over the United States. Passionate about water in particular, Ian says that Project WET activities help give participants perspective and insight into global water issues. Thanks to Project WET California Coordinator Brian Brown for originally sharing Ian's story with us.

Outdoor Educator Ian Taylor By Ian Taylor, Outdoor Educator

Learning outdoors has always been a part of my life. I was very active in scouting as a child and young adult, culminating in my becoming an Eagle Scout, and I went to Hocking College to earn degrees in both Eco-Tourism/Adventure Travel and Wildlife Resource Management. However, even with all of this emphasis on environmental education, I had never heard of Project WET until I opened my first Project WET Guide in the fall of 2012. I had been charged with creating a nature program for kids to use as a learning tool at Camp Wyandot in southeast Ohio. I soon discovered in learning about Project WET activities that I had actually used many of them during camps I attended in my youth and during my time in school—I just hadn’t realized they were Project WET!

Since finishing my program in 2012, I have attended four Project WET trainings in three different states—Ohio, Indiana and California. The most recent training was at the Tulare County Office of Education (in California), and it was accompanied by a lecture on climate change and a panel of scientists to answer questions.

Environmental educator Ian Taylor training Ohio camp counselors to help kids engage with the natural world These trainings have helped me in my career as an outdoor educator. I was the nature and outdoor living skills coordinator at Camp Wyandot in Rockbridge, Ohio. I then served as a professional outdoor instructor at Bradford Woods in Martinsville, Indiana, which is the adjunct Outdoor Education Facility for Indiana University. I later became the environmental education specialist and oversaw the training staff. Many of the activities we trained our staff to use were from Project WET. Currently, I am wrapping up a term of service in AmeriCorps where I am serving Tulare County as the Education and Field Trips Coordinator for a land trust here in the valley. I would estimate that in my career so far, I have worked with several thousand people. Probably the largest group are the fifth graders I worked with during my time in Indiana. I have also worked with adults, college students, grades K-12 and the community at large.

My favorite Project WET activity is Macroinvertebrate Mayhem. It’s not just a WONDERFUL way to teach about macros; it’s engaging, active and hilarious to watch. There are no “winners” or “losers”. Everyone learns and it provides an opportunity for adults to get involved. I pair this with a macroinvertebrate hunt and I have an entire lesson that covers several NGSS standards. (As an aside, Bradford Woods was featured on a PBS program called “Indiana Weekend” in 2016. The video embedded below features footage of me leading the macro search in Fern Valley. The whole thing is great, but about 9 minutes is when they start our footage.)

Ian has worked with thousands of students of all ages, like these in Ohio, in his career as an outdoor educator In general, teaching people about water is important to me because water is life. It gives life, and it is strong enough to take it away. Water is everywhere and essential to understanding the world and its ecosystems. Water brings people together or divides by causing wars, scarcity or physical barriers. When I was in Ohio, there was plenty of water, but much of it has been tainted with chemicals from acid mining. When I came to California, I settled in a place that had been in a six-year drought and has limited resources for storing water when it does rain. Thousands of miles apart and on opposite ends of a social and political spectrum but many problems revolve around the same issue of water scarcity.

How I Use Project WET: Changing Perspectives About Water

Thu, 2017-09-14 12:00

Angie Gabriela Olaya Acosta, a Project WET facilitator in Colombia Editor’s note: This interview was arranged by Allison Howe and translated from the original Spanish by Kyla Smith.

It has been almost exactly four years since Angie Gabriela Olaya Acosta was trained as a Project WET facilitator in her home country of Colombia. Now part of one of Project WET’s partner organizations in Colombia, the Regional Autonomous Corporation of Cundinamarca (Corporación Autonoma Regional de Cundinamarca, or CAR, a Colombian government agency), Angie says that Project WET has helped her educate all kinds of people about the importance of water.

“I started as a volunteer in the cities of the province of Gualivá and participated in a training program with CAR and CORPOBOYACA, where we trained the educators in the department so they could replicate Project WET in their schools and water utilities,” Angie said. “Later, I worked with CAR to strengthen the program being introduced in schools, which had great results from a project developed in 2015. During 2016 and 2017 we have been creating new spaces to implement the activities and initiating new educational programs, in companies, universities, business organizations, and more schools and water utilities. We have also been able to apply the methodology to many of the educational strategies developed by CAR. It is a valuable and very versatile tool that I have been able to take advantage of!”

Allison (far left) met Angie in Colombia last fall Allison met Angie at last year's  International Meeting of WET Methodology and Strengthening for the Management of Water Resources in Colombia last fall. She suggested that we talk to Angie about her experiences using Project WET:

Project WET Foundation (PWF): How do you use Project WET in your work? What activities are particularly useful to you and why?

Angie Gabriela Olaya Acosta (AO): I have primarily used the activities in the Water and Education Guide from Colombia. I’ve used those 32 activities many, many times—they are excellent, practical and fun. I have learned how to adapt them to a lot of different settings, which has given the best results. Some favorites that I like the most are “The Incredible Journey”, “Seeing Watersheds”, “8-4-1, One for All”, and “Puzzle” (Rompecabezas). They are my most recommended activities, and I almost always include them in my training workshops. I also like using the Clean and Conserve activities from the Ecolab project; my favorites are “Soap Science” and “Healthy Natural Environments”. At CAR, we’ve also developed some new activities to teach about locally relevant water topics. Of these, my favorites are “Water Loss” and “Interact with the Wetland”!

Angie has trained people from many different backgrounds to use Project WET PWF: Why is water education important to you personally?

AO: Because I am convinced that the problem of water is a social problem, more than a technical or economic one. Only by changing people’s perspective of water can we ensure that it reaches more and more people, and also the natural elements we share it with.

PWF: What are your future plans for water education?

Allison joined Angie and several other facilitators to conduct a two-day training workshop at Lake Neusa in Colombia AO: If I have the opportunity to continue with CAR, I can visualize larger educational programs and partnerships with other corporations so that this methodology can reach other parts of the country. I have also been thinking about the possibility of developing activities not published in a physical guide, but rather with short videos of a maximum 2 minutes in length that better demonstrate each part of the activities and their preparation, at least for the activities created by CAR.

In the not-too-distant future, I hope to have concrete figures about the effect of the methodology in our local communities, so that we can show proof of its positive effects and effectiveness.

Thank you very much for taking our experience into account, which is not only mine but also that of an entity that values the methodology, some committed facilitators and an enchanting geographical area.

 

How I Use Project WET: Changing Perspectives About Water

Thu, 2017-09-14 12:00

Angie Gabriela Olaya Acosta, a Project WET facilitator in Colombia Editor’s note: This interview was arranged by Allison Howe and translated from the original Spanish by Kyla Smith.

It has been almost exactly four years since Angie Gabriela Olaya Acosta was trained as a Project WET facilitator in her home country of Colombia. Now part of one of Project WET’s partner organizations in Colombia, the Regional Autonomous Corporation of Cundinamarca (Corporación Autonoma Regional de Cundinamarca, or CAR, a Colombian government agency), Angie says that Project WET has helped her educate all kinds of people about the importance of water.

“I started as a volunteer in the cities of the province of Gualivá and participated in a training program with CAR and CORPOBOYACA, where we trained the educators in the department so they could replicate Project WET in their schools and water utilities,” Angie said. “Later, I worked with CAR to strengthen the program being introduced in schools, which had great results from a project developed in 2015. During 2016 and 2017 we have been creating new spaces to implement the activities and initiating new educational programs, in companies, universities, business organizations, and more schools and water utilities. We have also been able to apply the methodology to many of the educational strategies developed by CAR. It is a valuable and very versatile tool that I have been able to take advantage of!”

Allison (far left) met Angie in Colombia last fall Allison met Angie at last year's  International Meeting of WET Methodology and Strengthening for the Management of Water Resources in Colombia last fall. She suggested that we talk to Angie about her experiences using Project WET:

Project WET Foundation (PWF): How do you use Project WET in your work? What activities are particularly useful to you and why?

Angie Gabriela Olaya Acosta (AO): I have primarily used the activities in the Water and Education Guide from Colombia. I’ve used those 32 activities many, many times—they are excellent, practical and fun. I have learned how to adapt them to a lot of different settings, which has given the best results. Some favorites that I like the most are “The Incredible Journey”, “Seeing Watersheds”, “8-4-1, One for All”, and “Puzzle” (Rompecabezas). They are my most recommended activities, and I almost always include them in my training workshops. I also like using the Clean and Conserve activities from the Ecolab project; my favorites are “Soap Science” and “Healthy Natural Environments”. At CAR, we’ve also developed some new activities to teach about locally relevant water topics. Of these, my favorites are “Water Loss” and “Interact with the Wetland”!

Angie has trained people from many different backgrounds to use Project WET PWF: Why is water education important to you personally?

AO: Because I am convinced that the problem of water is a social problem, more than a technical or economic one. Only by changing people’s perspective of water can we ensure that it reaches more and more people, and also the natural elements we share it with.

PWF: What are your future plans for water education?

Allison joined Angie and several other facilitators to conduct a two-day training workshop at Lake Neusa in Colombia AO: If I have the opportunity to continue with CAR, I can visualize larger educational programs and partnerships with other corporations so that this methodology can reach other parts of the country. I have also been thinking about the possibility of developing activities not published in a physical guide, but rather with short videos of a maximum 2 minutes in length that better demonstrate each part of the activities and their preparation, at least for the activities created by CAR.

In the not-too-distant future, I hope to have concrete figures about the effect of the methodology in our local communities, so that we can show proof of its positive effects and effectiveness.

Thank you very much for taking our experience into account, which is not only mine but also that of an entity that values the methodology, some committed facilitators and an enchanting geographical area.