Water Education Portal

Educate. Empower. Act.

Project WET Blog

Syndicate content
Updated: 14 hours 17 min ago

WaterStar: New Mexico’s Doña Ana Mutual Domestic Water Consumers Association

Mon, 2017-06-12 14:36

This is the latest in a series of posts highlighting people and organizations around the world that 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. Any individual or organization that has used Clean and Conserve materials is eligible for consideration to be a WaterStar award winner. Submit your story to learn more.

Serving more than 15,000 people, the Doña Ana Mutual Domestic Water Consumers Association (Doña Ana MDWCA) is a membership association that exists to provide water and wastewater services to five districts in the southern New Mexico town of Las Cruces. The Doña Ana MDWCA water system includes 12 wells and seven tanks with a 4.5 million-gallon capacity and a wastewater facility with a capacity of 200,000 gallons.

Part of the Doña Ana MDWCA mission includes public education, which led Stephanie Nelson, an accounting clerk for Doña Ana MDWCA, to download the free Clean and Conserve Education Program materials last fall. Since then, the association has shared them whenever they can, Stephanie said in a recent interview.

“The materials are handed out to visiting children in our office when their parents are completing new member information or discussing their accounts,” she explained. “The activity booklets especially resonate with the children who visit our office; however, the information is extremely beneficial for public education overall.”

In addition to reaching children and parents who visit the office, Doña Ana MDWCA also takes part in the Las Cruces Water Fair, a daylong water festival for all area third and fourth graders, hosted by the City of Las Cruces.

“About 1,400 students attend each year,” Stephanie noted. “The Fair has booths set up for various organizations, and we spend all day teaching children the importance of water conservation through public education and fun activities like those in the Clean and Conserve Activity Guide for Educators.”

Being able to offer education to consumers through materials like Clean and Conserve is critical to encouraging responsible water stewardship, she added.

“The information this provides to the public is invaluable to continue an open dialogue of water preservation,” Stephanie said. “We will continue to utilize all of the materials provided to further our pursuits of water conservation and public education, and we will also support the public schools on furthering the education of our community.”

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 Chinese, Spanish for Mexico, German, 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 13, 2017)

Southern California volunteer connects with inner-city kids using water education and life experience

Thu, 2017-06-08 15:16

Rob Griffith of NWNA uses Project WET to teach about water in ways that help him connect with kids of all backgrounds When Rob Griffith stands in front of a middle school classroom in an inner-city school in southern California, he sees kids eager to learn when the lessons are interactive and fun. He also sees a bit of himself.

Rob, a zone sales development manager for Nestlé Waters North America (NWNA) in south Orange County, says that he can relate to students facing life challenges that can impact their school performance.

“I grew up as a child in need, in a low-income area, with a single parent,” Rob explains. “As a result, one of my personal goals in life is to give back where I can."

Rob and other NWNA volunteers often take part in community events to teach about water After joining NWNA about a year ago, Rob looked for ways to get involved in the community through the company and soon heard about the longtime relationship between NWNA and the Project WET Foundation.

“My manager, Jennifer Dunbar, told me about Project WET,” Rob says. “She had been trained to use Project WET as part of Nestlé’s commitment to community involvement through water education and told me how to get in touch with Project WET to get trained.”

In February, Project WET USA Senior Program Manager Julia Beck and Publications Manager Megan Regnerus traveled to southern California to train Rob and two dozen other volunteers. After completing training, Rob and one of his sales managers, Richard Cardenas, jumped in with both feet, finding classrooms and other venues in which to share interactive water education with students and continually seeking out new opportunities to teach about water.

NWNA sales manager Richard Cardenas and Rob often volunteer together as a team “Richard has been doing all of this with me. It helps to have a partner,” Rob says, adding that Richard’s wife works in inner-city schools, which has helped them reach schools where resources are low and challenges are high.

“I primarily target middle schools in lower-income areas because there can be a lack of resources and volunteers in those schools,” Rob says. “The students we have met get super excited when they see us walk in to the room with the blow-up globe and the big blue water kit. You should see the smiles and the way their faces light up! I love the fact that they’re learning and are so happy to see a positive role model to inspire them.”

In addition to teaching in classrooms, Rob has also helped nurture an innovative partnership with local law enforcement to incorporate water education into community events.

“An employee in our Colton branch has kids who attend elementary school there, and in that school, there is a team of police officers with a focus on community involvement and children,” he says. “I was working a Project WET event at another school, and that Colton employee asked if I would be interested in bringing water education to police-sponsored career day events at his child’s school.”

Rob has been working with local law enforcement officers in Southern California to increase water awareness at police-sponsored community events Sponsored by the Colton and Rialto police departments, these events provide life counseling and guidance to low-income schools with limited resources.

“This Colton employee gave me the name of a police officer who was interested in partnering up to link their events with water education. As a result, that police department has invited us to more community-based events, allowing us to reach more kids with water education,” Rob explains.

Rob says that the interactivity of Project WET is key to making the lessons effective in these educational environments, where some kids are dealing with serious challenges.

“We see some children with mental health issues or with parents who have drug issues; there are kids who are facing homelessness…basically, there can be a number of different challenges that can make it difficult for some kids to stay engaged,” he notes.

“Project WET really allows me to teach kids in a way that they have fun learning,” Rob says. “That’s what I love about the program. I’m not just talking to them or showing them slides. They get to stand up, throw the globe around, make bracelets to learn the water cycle, you name it. We’re often limited on time, but even with just one activity, kids get really excited. They want to participate however they can.”

Rob says that bringing Project WET into the schools as an employee of NWNA is another way to relate to kids.

Students, volunteers and law enforcement officials gathered for a group picture during a recent event “When I go into a school and say proudly that I’m from Nestlé Pure Life, or ReadyRefresh, or Arrowhead, I specifically call that out for a reason,” he says. “What I find is that 70 to 80 percent of these kids will chime in that their mom buys Arrowhead, or their grandpa loves Pure Life. It's just one more way to show what we have in common.”

Rob and the other NWNA employee-volunteers that he works with show no signs of slowing down their commitment to giving back and teaching about water. “We’re working to get as much communication out there as we can, letting people know that we have volunteers available to teach kids about water,” he says.

For his part, Rob said he would love to visit an inner-city school each week if he had time.

“I’m just one guy, but I want to do as much as possible,” he concludes. “I was that kid at one point. I have an extra layer of understanding. That’s what drives me.”

How I Use Project WET: Engaging Kids in Need and Giving Back to the Community

Thu, 2017-06-08 14:50

Rob Griffith of NWNA uses Project WET to teach about water in ways that help him connect with kids of all backgrounds When Rob Griffith stands in front of a middle school classroom in an inner-city school in southern California, he sees kids eager to learn when the lessons are interactive and fun. He also sees a bit of himself.

Rob, a zone sales development manager for Nestlé Waters North America (NWNA) in south Orange County, says that he can relate to students facing life challenges that can impact their school performance.

“I grew up as a child in need, in a low-income area, with a single parent,” Rob explains. “As a result, one of my personal goals in life is to give back where I can."

Rob and other NWNA volunteers often take part in community events to teach about water After joining NWNA about a year ago, Rob looked for ways to get involved in the community through the company and soon heard about the longtime relationship between NWNA and the Project WET Foundation.

“My manager, Jennifer Dunbar, told me about Project WET,” Rob says. “She had been trained to use Project WET as part of Nestlé’s commitment to community involvement through water education and told me how to get in touch with Project WET to get trained.”

In February, Project WET USA Senior Program Manager Julia Beck and Publications Manager Megan Regnerus traveled to southern California to train Rob and two dozen other volunteers. After completing training, Rob and one of his sales managers, Richard Cardenas, jumped in with both feet, finding classrooms and other venues in which to share interactive water education with students and continually seeking out new opportunities to teach about water.

NWNA sales manager Richard Cardenas and Rob often volunteer together as a team “Richard has been doing all of this with me. It helps to have a partner,” Rob says, adding that Richard’s wife works in inner-city schools, which has helped them reach schools where resources are low and challenges are high.

“I primarily target middle schools in lower-income areas because there can be a lack of resources and volunteers in those schools,” Rob says. “The students we have met get super excited when they see us walk in to the room with the blow-up globe and the big blue water kit. You should see the smiles and the way their faces light up! I love the fact that they’re learning and are so happy to see a positive role model to inspire them.”

In addition to teaching in classrooms, Rob has also helped nurture an innovative partnership with local law enforcement to incorporate water education into community events.

“An employee in our Colton branch has kids who attend elementary school there, and in that school, there is a team of police officers with a focus on community involvement and children,” he says. “I was working a Project WET event at another school, and that Colton employee asked if I would be interested in bringing water education to police-sponsored career day events at his child’s school.”

Rob has been working with local law enforcement officers in Southern California to increase water awareness at police-sponsored community events Sponsored by the Colton and Rialto police departments, these events provide life counseling and guidance to low-income schools with limited resources.

“This Colton employee gave me the name of a police officer who was interested in partnering up to link their events with water education. As a result, that police department has invited us to more community-based events, allowing us to reach more kids with water education,” Rob explains.

Rob says that the interactivity of Project WET is key to making the lessons effective in these educational environments, where some kids are dealing with serious challenges.

“We see some children with mental health issues or with parents who have drug issues; there are kids who are facing homelessness…basically, there can be a number of different challenges that can make it difficult for some kids to stay engaged,” he notes.

“Project WET really allows me to teach kids in a way that they have fun learning,” Rob says. “That’s what I love about the program. I’m not just talking to them or showing them slides. They get to stand up, throw the globe around, make bracelets to learn the water cycle, you name it. We’re often limited on time, but even with just one activity, kids get really excited. They want to participate however they can.”

Rob says that bringing Project WET into the schools as an employee of NWNA is another way to relate to kids.

Students, volunteers and law enforcement officials gathered for a group picture during a recent event “When I go into a school and say proudly that I’m from Nestlé Pure Life, or ReadyRefresh, or Arrowhead, I specifically call that out for a reason,” he says. “What I find is that 70 to 80 percent of these kids will chime in that their mom buys Arrowhead, or their grandpa loves Pure Life. It's just one more way to show what we have in common.”

Rob and the other NWNA employee-volunteers that he works with show no signs of slowing down their commitment to giving back and teaching about water. “We’re working to get as much communication out there as we can, letting people know that we have volunteers available to teach kids about water,” he says.

For his part, Rob said he would love to visit an inner-city school each week if he had time.

“I’m just one guy, but I want to do as much as possible,” he concludes. “I was that kid at one point. I have an extra layer of understanding. That’s what drives me.”

 

Project WET Partner in Texas Brings Water Education to Uganda School

Tue, 2017-05-30 08:03

Students in Uganda participating in World Water Monitoring activities Students at Oaks of Righteousness School, part of Restoration Gateway  in northern Uganda, recently learned about water by engaging with Project WET activities. Project WET Coordinator Melissa Mullins of the Center for Reservoir & Aquatic Systems Research (C.R.A.S.R.) at Baylor University traveled to Uganda as part of a Baylor University group. The Baylor team worked with students and teachers in exploring soils, water and birds of this unique and beautiful area on the banks of the Nile River. Students participated in "Blue Planet" and the "Incredible Journey", and supplies for these activities as well as printed materials such as the Nile River poster and Project WET activity booklets were part of the science supplies donated to the school. Students in the secondary school are also participating in the World Water Monitoring Challenge to submit water quality data from the Nile River.

Of the experience, Melissa said, “I might have taught the kids some things, but I learned far more- the trip was a joy and a blessing.”

This week, Melissa  facilitated the secondary students and their teacher at Restoration Gateway Facetiming with 8th grade students at Cesar Chavez Middle School in Waco who had participated in the World Water Monitoring Challenge this year. They shared their results comparing the Nile River and the Brazos River in Waco. Melissa noted that the students all seemed to really enjoy the chance to talk to kids halfway around the world!

 

Arkansas Project WET work on PPCP in water recognized with invitation to Clinton Foundation summit

Thu, 2017-05-25 11:09

by Barbara Miller, Arkansas Project WET

The sixth Health Matters Annual Activation Summit took place in April at the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, Arkansas. Attendance was by special invitation only, with the invitations sent to leaders in their field who deliver effective, community-based solutions. Someone submitted my name to the committee for the work I have done with pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCP) in water supplies and their potential impacts.

No matter what audience I have, be it in a workshop or presentation, the Drug Take Back program is discussed because it is a proactive solution to eliminating these chemical compounds in our water bodies. Arkansas has had remarkable results especially when you consider it is a rural state. I use the waste water treatment facility virtual tour and webcast overview the WETteam developed and mention Project WET as a resource for all interested in preserving water quality.

President Bill Clinton moderated panel discussions and roundtables with audience participation throughout the day. Some of the distinguished speakers included:

  • Bill Austin, Founder, Starkey Hearing Foundation and Owner, CEO and president, Starkey Hearing Technologies
  • Kristine Rhodes, Chief Executive Officer, American Indian Cancer Foundation
  • Dr. Raul Ruiz, Congressman, U.S. Representative (California’s 36th District)
  • Dr. Leana Wen, Baltimore City Health Commissioner
  • Dr. Maya Rockeymoore, President and CEO, Global Policy Solutions
  • Dr. Georges C. Benjamin, Executive Director, American Public Health Association
  • Drew Boshell, Senior Vice President, Sport and Health, Special Olympics
  • Richard A. Rawson, PhD., Research Professor, Vermont Center on Behavior and Health , University of Vermont, and Professor Emeritus, UCLA School of Medicine
  • Dr. Kim Janda, Ely R. Callaway, Jr. Chaired Professor in the Departments of Chemistry and Immunology; Director Worm Institute for Research & Medicine; and Skaggs Scholar, The Scripps Research Institute

In addition to the panel discussions, two Lightning Round Impact Announcement sessions were held. AstraZeneca, The Arkansas Department of Higher Education with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation and The Bipartisan Policy Center headed one session while Harvard Medical School and HarvardX Adapt Pharma headed the other.

The event concluded with closing remarks by President Clinton.

Guest Post: Watershed Model Helps People Understand Their Water Address

Tue, 2017-05-23 14:39

By Maddi Phillips, South Carolina Project WET

The GCSWCD watershed model is topographically accurate, featuring local waterways, roadways, landmarks, municipalities and watershed boundaries The Greenville County Soil and Water Conservation District (GCSWCD) in South Carolina recently introduced an impactful new teaching tool: a watershed model of Greenville County. The model is similar to an EnviroScape, but instead of an imaginary landscape, this model is a topographically accurate map printed with aerial photography of the area and adorned with local waterways, roadways, landmarks, municipalities and, most importantly, watershed boundaries. The board is waterproof, making it easy to “make it rain” (with the assistance of a spray bottle) on the landscape and watch the water travel through the watershed, ebb and flow in the rivers and drain into what staff affectionately refer to as “Lake Greenwood” (the lake downstream of Greenville).

The idea for the model began in 2015 when GCSWCD staff was brainstorming for an upcoming litter pollution campaign. It seemed that there was little concern for roadside litter but that attitudes changed when that litter was in a river. After researching, talking to residents and meeting with local conservationists, the consensus was that people know not to litter, but there is a disconnect between trash on the ground and trash in the waterways. Put another way, many people do not understand the concept of a watershed.

One nature park director spoke on the countless comments from concerned park visitors about the amount of trash in the river that runs through the park. “People are leaving their trash in the river," they would complain. "Why aren’t you doing anything about this?” A park curator whose life's work some days seems to be endlessly picking up litter--only to have the efforts be erased after each rainfall--can get understandably defensive, since the struggle is not litter originating in the park but litter originating upstream in the highly urbanized watershed. Thus, the need for a model.

Maddi Phillips of the Greenville County Soil and Water District using the new watershed model After a year and a half of planning and execution, a watershed model was delivered to an eager Soil and Water District.

Happily, it works exactly as intended and has been an effective tool in educating the public. We generally start by locating students’ homes, offices or schools on the map. From there, they are able to see in which of Greenville’s 10 watersheds they are located and, therefore, which river their stormwater (and its accompanying pollution) flows into. Conversation segues are endless. Discussions are started on pollution, water quality, living downstream and many other critical topics.

The model has been in use for a couple of months, and the initial response has been positive. At the beginning of the demonstration, when asked “Do you know what a watershed is?” the majority of participants answer no, looking stumped. By the end of the demonstration, they are able to describe, in detail, the function of a watershed and recognize that what pollutes the land will also pollute the water. From elementary-aged students to adults, people understand the model and concept. As a result, they leave more aware, educated citizens, ready to make responsible choices for our watersheds.

A Project WET Co-Coordinator in South Carolina, Maddi Phillips is the Community Relations Coordinator for the Greenville County Soil and Water Conservation District, one of Project WET's partners in South Carolina.

 

How I Use Project WET: Teaching Children to Protect Water

Mon, 2017-05-22 15:58

Heather Hess has organized World Water Day festivals in Stamford for the past three years For the past four years, Heather Hess has had plenty to do as the Customs and Trade Compliance Manager for Nestlé Waters North America (NWNA). Even as she oversees imports and exports for the United States and Canada, however, she has taken time each year since 2015 to organize a World Water Day festival using Project WET activities at the NWNA headquarters office in Stamford, CT.

Heather says her motivations for being involved with Project WET come from both personal and professional experience.

Kids at the festival learned about the water cycle using the Incredible Journey activity “The Project WET activities that we use fall right in line with NWNA’s sustainability story,” Heather explained in a World Water Day post on the NWNA blog. “They teach the children about how precious water is, how they can protect water sources, and the things we all do that impact water and what we can do better.”

“I’m a mother,” she told Project WET recently, “so I really enjoy sharing my passion for learning with children. I love seeing the students’ reactions to the activities and every year,  I learn something from them.”

Heather first used Project WET in 2015 when she organized her first festival. She said  she loves Project WET activities because they are “pertinent, so easy to understand and apply, and fun!”

These NWNA employees joined hundreds of other Nestle Waters employees in teaching kids about water using Project WET on World Water Day “Here’s an example: one of the activities we do is about recycling,” Heather wrote. “When the children come into the room, they see items representing trash spread all over the ground. The first thing we tell them is to imagine it’s their yard or neighborhood or playground and what should they do? Pick it up! They collect the trash and put it in a can. Then we take it out and ask them to sort it by type and talk about each – can it be recycled, composted, or can it be reused? Their ideas are so creative and inspiring. We often get responses back from the schools telling us that the students have taken the learning from this activity and applied it to their own lives, both at school and at home. Helping them to make that connection is what makes these events so impactful.”

Project WET and Nestlé Waters have been working together for more than 20 years, and thousands of employees like Heather have taken part in festivals on World Water Day and throughout the year, reaching hundreds of thousands of children.

“Water is something I think about every day,” Heather concluded. “I’m proud to take part in activities that help focus the world’s attention on it. I encourage everyone to find opportunities to be responsible water stewards every day.”

 

Recycle and Reuse: Environmental Benefits of Water Recycling (Guest Post)

Tue, 2017-04-25 09:39

Earth in a water drop (Image credit: gruene-europa via Creative Commons) by Bob Gorman

Our world's resources are far from infinite. Water often seems to be abundant, but humanity is actually putting a great deal of strain on the available surface and groundwater water supplies. Our failure to conserve our water supply is causing droughts, dust storms, and other environmental problems that hurt both humanity and nature. The only way to minimize the situation from turning into a disaster is to start conserving and recycling water.

What is Water Recycling?

The water cycle ensures that used water will eventually work its way back into nature, but it doesn't always end up in reservoirs that we can access. Most humans get their water from rivers, lakes, or groundwater reservoirs. When we put those resources under heavy use, we often draw water from them faster than they can replenish themselves. When we take too much from a surface water source, we could disrupt the rate of recharge and cause the little streams that branch off from it to dry up. When we take it from a lake or from groundwater, we cause them to dry up. They will eventually recover, but only if humans stop drawing water from them.

Water recycling refers to strategies to reuse water beneficially to reduce the use of available natural water resources. Every drop of water that we recycle is a drop that we don't have to take from our limited water resources. At the simplest level, water recycling can mean harvesting rainwater in a barrel. More complex systems collect greywater, which is the slightly dirty water that is left over from washing and similar activities, and use it for irrigation, toilets, or other uses where complete purity isn't a concern.

How Does it Help?

Water recycling offers several benefits, both to us and to the world in which we live. The biggest benefit comes from preventing water shortages. That offers protection to the world's water resources, which would get drained to ensure that humans can continue to prosper while we run out of water. Recycling also ensures that we have enough water to grow crops, maintain our hygiene, and simply stay hydrated. Almost every aspect of human life uses water at some point, so running out could cause our entire civilization to collapse.

Recycling also helps to prevent pollution, especially in an industrial context. Many machines and appliances produce wastewater that carry some pollutants. If that water enters the environment without treatment, it can spread those pollutants across a surprising distance and give them a chance to kill plants and animals. Wastewater treatment and water recycling prevents the water from contaminating our rivers, lakes and groundwater.

The Future of Water Recycling

Right now, most people think of water recycling as an optional activity. People who care about the environment or want to save money on their water bill do it, but most other people are quite content to ignore the issue. That is likely to change in the future.

The demand for water is directly connected to both the number of people in the world and the standard of living that they want to maintain. The world's population is high and still climbing, so the demand for water is not going to drop any time soon. The developing world is also getting richer, and the increased desire for luxury products will keep increasing the amount of water that gets diverted to industry and inefficient forms of agriculture.

This means that we need to find other ways to conserve water. Recycling is not our only option, but it is one of the things that everyone can do to help. As the demand for water increases, the price of potable water is likely rise, and more people will recycle water. Even the people who don't care about the environment will start to recycle in order to save money.

Our purification technology is also improving. That will make water recycling even easier in the future, both on a large scale and at a personal level. That makes it seem likely that water recycling will play a large role in most water management systems in the future, especially if more people get started with it now.

Bob Gorman is a freelance writer from Melbourne, who likes writing articles that cover environment and sustainability related topics. He has written numerous articles and contributed to several other blogs. When he is not writing, he enjoys spending time on the beach with his family. Find Bob on Twitter at @bob_gorman82.

Members of Levi’s Service Corps use Project WET activities to engage with factory in Mexico

Fri, 2017-04-21 14:45

Panorama of one section of the factory floor in Mexico Ask someone what an apparel factory in the developing world looks like and you might not expect to hear airy and clean, but that was what Project WET Senior Program Manager Morgan Close found when she recently traveled to Mexico. She was meeting up with members of the Levi Strauss & Co. Service Corps—an immersion program that allows selected LS&Co. employees to experience what life is like for apparel workers—near the site of one of the companies that produces LS&Co. jeans to train employees and local educators to use Project WET.

“I was very surprised with how bright and open the factories were,” Morgan said.

Levi Service Corps members learned about some of the work that goes into making a pair of jeans by trying it themselves It wasn’t the only surprise of the trip, either. While learning about the process that it takes to go from raw denim to finished jeans, she found out that that a typical pair of 501 jeans is touched by about 125 people from start to finish in the production process.

“Seeing the time and process that goes into making a garment was really shocking,” Morgan said.

Morgan’s experiences with the Service Corps in Mexico taught her about the work and lives of the people who make Levi’s products. She also had a chance to teach, training 14 local school teachers, 15 LS&Co. employees and five factory staff to teach students about water using Project WET activities about water conservation and water, sanitation and hygiene.

Service Corps members helped kids understand how germs spread through the Human Knot activity “The LS&Co employees really enjoyed the activities and are excited to use them after the trip when they return to their home offices and communities,” Morgan explained. “Having local teachers involved in the workshop and student teaching was fantastic. The teachers were dedicated and provided essential information for the Service Corps members on how to work with the students. And the factory staff who participated are excited to teach the activities to all 5,000 of their employees.”

The newly trained Water Ambassadors got the chance to put their training into action right away by teaching local children about clean water and healthy hygiene habits using Project WET’s hands-on activities.

“We worked with about 400 students in grades one through six,” Morgan said. “Watching the LS&Co. and factory employees as well as the local teachers help children in the local community understand the importance of clean water was inspiring.”

About 400 students learned about clean water and healthy hygiene habits with Service Corps members In turn, Morgan said, factory workers and their families were able to share their life experiences with the Service Corps.

“They seemed to appreciate the opportunity to connect with LS&Co. employees about their work and homes,” she said.

The first Service Corps trip was in 2015, and past trip participants have traveled to Haiti, Cambodia and Sri Lanka. Future trips are already in the planning phase. Speaking to the company’s Unzipped blog, LS&Co.’s Alexis Bechtol, who manages the Service Corps, called it “an incredible program for some of our most engaged employees from around the world.”

“Whether directly or indirectly, everything our employees do day in and day out at LS&Co. has social and environmental sustainability woven into it,” she continued. “The LS&Co. Service Corps program ties all of these pieces together, giving employees a unique opportunity to see our innovative programs in action. They come back to their desks more engaged, thinking about how the decisions they make have a direct impact on the people in our supply chain.”

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:

Workshops in Shanghai and Guangzhou Help Students, NGOs and Ecolab Employees Make the World Cleaner and Healthier

Thu, 2017-04-06 08:17

Guangzhou workshop participants learned how germs can spread from person to person While the water conservation and hygiene education materials developed for the Clean and Conserve program are most often used in classrooms, participants in a recent workshop in Shanghai came up with another creative implementation idea: children’s parties. Project WET’s international projects assistant Allison Howe was in Shanghai for the workshop and reported that participants brainstormed using the “Do Knot Pass It Along” activity—a whole-body activity that emphasizes the importance of proper handwashing—at kids’ parties before passing out treats.

It was one of numerous creative ways the 25 workshop participants came up with as they discussed possible methods for scaling up the Clean and Conserve materials at one of two recent workshops held in China—one in Shanghai and one in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou.

Shanghai workshop participants played tag to discover how healthy hygiene habits can protect people from illness In Shanghai, about half of the attendees were Ecolab employees. Students and representatives from Project WET implementing partners Shanghai Roots and Shoots and other NGOs including the Alliance for Water Stewardship and The Nature Conservancy made up the remaining participants. Project WET Senior Vice President John Etgen also attended, working together with Allison to train at the Shanghai workshop before heading to Papua New Guinea for another educator workshop.

According to Allison, the Shanghai workshop attendees were overwhelmingly positive about the materials and the potential to use them with their communities.

“Many people noted how important the topics that Clean and Conserve covers are, especially in China,” she explained. “Water conservation is emphasized in China, in part because of its large population. Preventing germ transmission in areas of high population density is also a key lesson that these newly trained educators are hoping to share widely.”

Participants in Guangzhou included Ecolab employees as well as representatives from NGOs and universities Later, in Guangzhou, a sprawling port city northwest of Hong Kong, Allison trained another 25 participants to use Clean and Conserve. Five of the attendees were Ecolab employees, while the others represented organizations and universities in the region.

Among the NGO participants were representatives from Taiwan’s Guandu Nature Park, a Project WET partner since 2011. Sandra, a Guandu employee and seasoned Project WET educator, was able to lead the activity warm-up for “Healthy Natural Environments”. A local Ecolab employee, Candy, pitched in with a compelling demonstration of a soap molecule for the “Soap Science” warm-up.

In addition to discussions about water conservation, participants also examined how ocean water might be used to provide fresh water, Allison said. “The ‘Drop in the Bucket’ demonstration prompted a lot of conversation about using desalination,” she noted.

With approximately 50 new educators now implementing Clean and Conserve in China using the Chinese-language resources—adding to the dozens of others trained in previous workshops—the program is well underway not only in China but around the world. The Project WET Foundation and Ecolab are working to reach 2 million people with water conservation and hygiene education by the end of 2017.

Developed through the partnership between the Project WET Foundation and Ecolab, Clean and Conserve 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 available in Chinese, Spanish for Mexico, German, French for Canada and Portuguese for Brazil (French and Portuguese materials are available for download from the English-language page).

Project WET Board Member Chosen for 2018 International Space Station Crew

Fri, 2017-03-31 10:47

Note: This press release is an adapted reprint of NASA press release Number 17-107, “NASA Announces Upcoming International Space Station Crew Assignments”.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Ricky Arnold (Photo by NASA) Bozeman, Mont. – Project WET Foundation Board of Directors member Ricky Arnold is among five NASA astronauts who have been assigned to upcoming spaceflights. Arnold, along with Joe Acaba, Nick Hague, Serena Auñón-Chancellor and Shannon Walker, all have begun training for missions launching later this year and throughout 2018.

Arnold will join another NASA astronaut, Drew Feustel, and a Russian cosmonaut for International Space Station Expeditions 55 and 56 to launch in March 2018.

Acaba will be the first to launch, assigned to the Expedition 53 and 54 crews that already include Mark Vande Hei of NASA, and Alexander Misurkin of the Russian space agency Roscosmos. They will launch aboard a Soyuz spacecraft in September. Walker will train as a dedicated backup for Acaba. Arnold and Acaba’s assignments were enabled by the recent agreement to add additional crew members in 2017 and 2018 to boost space station science and research.

Ricky participated in a 2009 mission to the International Space Station (Photo by NASA) Arnold will be visiting the space station for the second time, but this trip will be much longer than his last. He also was selected in the 2004 class and flew with Acaba on STS-119. On that mission, he conducted two spacewalks, spending 12 hours and 34 minutes outside the space station.

Ricky took part in a 2007 undersea mission aboard the NOAA Aquarius Underwater Laboratory (Photo by NASA) Arnold was raised in Bowie, Maryland. He earned a bachelor’s degree in science from Frostburg State University, and a master’s degree in marine, estuarine and environmental science from the University of Maryland. He has taught school in Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and Romania. He also served as an oceanographic technician for the U.S. Naval Academy and a marine scientist at the Cape Cod National Seashore. He joined the Project WET Foundation Board of Directors in 2011.

First-time fliers Hague and Auñón-Chancellor will fall into the standard rotation for NASA astronauts. Hague will launch in September 2018 on Expeditions 57 and 58 with two Russian cosmonauts. Auñón-Chancellor will join the Expedition 58 and 59 crews in November 2018, along with Canadian Space Agency astronaut David Saint-Jacques and a Russian cosmonaut.

“It’s great to get to announce so many assignments at once,” said Chris Cassidy, chief of the Astronaut Office at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. “There’s plenty of work to be done at the space station, and the research opportunities are almost limitless. These folks are all going to do great work and bring a lot of value to their crewmates.”

When not training for missions, Ricky has traveled to Montana for annual PWF Board of Director retreats Between now and their launches, each of the astronauts will undergo a busy regimen of training on space station systems and the experiments they’ll work with while in space.

“The addition of these extra crew members will be a boon to the entire scientific community doing research on station, and especially those who have been waiting for access to the platform” said Julie Robinson, NASA’s chief scientist for the International Space Station. “We’ll be capable of undertaking more complex research activities, which will in turn prepare NASA for the journey to Mars, unearth new markets for research in microgravity and deliver benefits back to Earth.”

Arnold and the other astronauts selected will join a long and distinguished line of astronauts who have crewed the International Space Station since November 2000. With the help of the more than 200 astronauts who have visited, the space station enables us to demonstrate new technologies and make research breakthroughs not possible on Earth. Its convergence of science, technology and human innovation provide a springboard to NASA's next giant leap in exploration.

Follow Ricky Arnold on Twitter for more about his mission preparation.

 

 

 

Educators in Papua New Guinea Tackle Water Issues With New Project WET Materials

Thu, 2017-03-30 11:03

Local educators included not only classroom teachers but also corporate volunteers Some 20 local educators—primary and secondary classroom teachers in public and private schools, corporate volunteers, government officials and NGO representatives—have learned new ways to teach kids about water using an education module customized for Papua New Guinea. A two-day workshop introduced educators to the new booklet, which has seven activities covering a variety of water topics, including the water cycle, water quality, watershed protection and water, sanitation and hygiene. And according to Project WET Senior Vice President John Etgen, who traveled to Papua New Guinea to conduct the training, the newly trained educators are excited to start using the new resource.

Educators learned to use the new module during a two-day training workshop “The feedback from educators about the new materials has been extremely positive,” John said. “They found the activities highly engaging, with science concepts that are clear thanks to being taught in an interactive way. Several educators told me that they can’t wait to teach kids about water with the new module.”

Map of Papua New Guinea courtesy of the PCL Map Collection at the University of Texas at Austin The workshop trained educators to work with different grade levels of students and to implement the activities into their curriculum. There was also a train-the-trainer component that will allow the program to grow beyond its initial implementation in the West New Britain Province. Held in Kimbe, the capital of West New Britain, the workshop was sponsored by New Britain Palm Oil Limited (NBPOL), a company that produces palm oil products. NBPOL also sponsored the module’s creation.

John with some of Papua New Guinea's younger generation, the next generation of leaders The program’s initial roll out will occur in West New Britain, with the long-term plan to scale up the program in the other four provinces of Papua New Guinea in which NBPOL operates. The island nation of Papua New Guinea is home to many important aquatic ecosystems, including the bay on which Kimbe sits, which boasts more than 60 percent of the coral species of the entire Indo-Pacific. The country also faces significant water challenges. A 2016 report from the nonprofit Wateraid singled out Papua New Guinea as having the world’s poorest access to clean water, with 60 percent of the population living without a safe water supply. Moreover, a changing climate is leading to a host of water-related problems, including rising sea levels.

In a letter in the introduction to the new Papua New Guinea Activity Guide for Educators, NBPOL Sustainability Manager for West New Britain Peter Callister said that the company “understands that to achieve true sustainability, NBPOL needs to extend its principles and influence outside of the operations into the wider community.”

“An important way to [achieve sustainability] is through the education of the younger generation, as they will grow to be the next generation of leaders and users of the environment in which we operate,” Callister said. “As such, we are excited to endeavor on this partnership with the Project WET Foundation to provide the latest in water and watershed management education material for teachers, with the hope that this information enables communities within the provinces that NBPOL operates to make informed management practices and choices with one of our most valuable resources.”

Interactive exhibit unveiled on World Water Day will teach more than 50,000 students in Shanghai about water

Wed, 2017-03-22 15:33

Kids in Shanghai attended the launch of a new interactive water education exhibit A new partnership established by Project WET Foundation global sponsor Nestlé Waters will allow 50,000 students to take part in an interactive water education exhibit during the next month. Nestlé Waters, the China National Maritime Museum in Shanghai and the Shanghai Ministry of Education, under the umbrella of the Project WET Foundation, launched the new exhibit on World Water Day, March 22nd.

Project WET Senior Vice President John Etgen attended and spoke at the launch event Project WET Senior Vice President John Etgen and International Projects Assistant Allison Howe were on hand at the World Water Day kick-off event, which featured speeches from representatives of the Ministry of Education and the Maritime Museum. The CEO of Nestlé Waters China, David Sauder, also addressed the crowd.

Approximately 150 students and 10 teachers took part in the day’s activities which included Project WET activities such as “Blue Planet”, “Incredible Journey” and “8-4-1, One for All”. The interactive displays include teaching methods taken from Project WET activities. The video below shows a variation on the classic "Blue Planet" activity, which uses probability to help learners understand the percentage of the Earth's surface that is covered by water or land. Where the original activity has learners tossing a globe back and forth, this large plastic globe spins while the visitor tosses suction cups at it. The "Incredible Journey" activity has been converted to more permanent stations representing nine parts of the water cycle--oceans, clouds, rivers, ground water, lakes, animals, glaciers, soil, plants--which learners visit based on the different places water can go as it moves through and around Earth. The bracelets, as shown by one of the Maritime Museum staff, remain the same, providing a takeaway that shows each person's "incredible journey" through the water cycle. "Aqua Bodies", which helps learners understand the amount of the human body that is made of water as well as what water does in the body, also got an exhibit version.

The Incredible Journey activity, exhibit version

The exhibit version of Aqua Bodies

On World Water Day 2017, Project WET advocates for water education at the Vatican and launches a new guide for early childhood educators

Wed, 2017-03-22 08:00

Guy Ryder, the chair of UN-Water, recently said of World Water Day, “Do what you can, do it with others, and do it with passion.” The Project WET Foundation is heeding that call on World Water Day 2017 and every day, working to raise awareness about water and encourage individual and collective action to protect and conserve water resources.

First, at the Vatican, Project WET Foundation President and CEO Dennis Nelson will witness Pope Francis inspire a global conversation that will help shift how the world values and understands its single most precious resource: water.

St. Peters Square (Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0.) Dennis is participating in WATERSHED, a series of events that will be streamed live from the Vatican on World Water Day. Dennis is in Rome to advocate for the role of water education in solving the world's complex water issues. WATERSHED will be launched immediately following a Papal Audience with Pope Francis and will be streamed live on Facebook starting at 10:30 a.m. CET on March 22nd. (Visit http://facebook.com/valuesofwater to view the live stream.)

Project WET’s participation in WATERSHED is part of #MyWaterStory, a global social media conversation leading up to WATERSHED and other water-related efforts hosted by the Vatican. The #MyWaterStory campaign, developed by graduate students from Ball State University’s Center for Emerging Media Design & Development (EMDD) in conjunction with leading journalists and scientists from Circle of Blue, seeks to encourage discussion about the values and value of water. Project WET has shared its award-winning water resources education materials and worldwide network of partners to encourage involvement in the #MyWaterStory campaign.

WATERSHED’s line-up of inspirational speakers, scientists, youth, and business leaders will be live-streamed from the Vatican for a globally connected audience that is invited to digitally share stories of their struggles, their hopes and their fears about the world’s water supplies. This audience will bring new voices, content, stories, art, media and workable solutions to light.

Meanwhile, back in the United States, Project WET will celebrate World Water Day with a brand-new resource to help young children understand the value of water. Developed in coordination with early childhood experts and educators, Getting Little Feet Wet contains 11 interactive, engaging activities. Getting Little Feet Wet allows young learners to explore many different aspects of water-from water's unique properties and states, to water in music, art and history. Each activity has different, age-appropriate suggestions to suit both Pre-K and K-2 learners and is correlated to educational standards.

From discovering what sinks or floats to observing how water helps plants grow, children are natural-born water scientists. Getting Little Feet Wet helps early childhood educators appeal to young children’s curiosity about the world around them while also emphasizing the importance of water.

Organized around Project WET’s Water Literacy Principles, Getting Little Feet Wet is correlated to standards from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the North American Association of Environmental Educators (NAAEE), as well as the Head Start Child Development and Early Learning Framework. The K-2 activity options have also been correlated to Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

The digital version of Getting Little Feet Wet is available today, and those who purchase the download will be able to access suggested resources, specific materials and additional links with a simple click. Print versions of the new book will be available later this spring. To purchase Getting Little Feet Wet, visit the Project WET Store.

Guide Launching on World Water Day Helps Early Childhood Educators Teach About Water

Tue, 2017-03-21 08:44

FOR RELEASE: March 21, 2017

BOZEMAN, Mont. – From discovering what sinks or floats to observing how water helps plants grow, children are natural-born water scientists. Launching on World Water Day, March 22nd, Getting Little Feet Wet is a new resource that helps early childhood educators appeal to young children’s curiosity about the world around them while also emphasizing the importance of water. Developed by the Project WET Foundation, the world leader in interactive, science-based water resources education, Getting Little Feet Wet offers hands-on, field-tested activities that allow young learners to explore water in fun, age-appropriate ways.

“We know from talking with people within the Project WET USA Network—partner organizations across the United States that train tens of thousands of educators each year to teach about water—that demand for a water education guide specifically for teachers working with young children is high,” said Project WET Foundation President and CEO Dennis Nelson. “Early childhood educators are eager to help children understand water, especially in ways that get kids excited about learning, nature and science. Getting Little Feet Wet makes all of that possible.”

Developed in coordination with early childhood experts and educators, Getting Little Feet Wet contains 11 interactive engaging activities that allow young learners to explore many different aspects of water—from water’s unique properties and states, to water in music, art and history. Each activity has different, age-appropriate suggestions to suit both Pre-K and K-2 learners.

Organized around Project WET’s Water Literacy Principles, Getting Little Feet Wet is correlated to educational standards, including those from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the North American Association of Environmental Educators (NAAEE), as well as the Head Start Child Development and Early Learning Framework. The K-2 activity options have also been correlated to Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

The digital version of Getting Little Feet Wet will be available for purchase on World Water Day, a UN-designated observance held every year on March 22nd to raise awareness about water and encourage action to protect and conserve water resources. Those who download the digital version of Getting Little Feet Wet will be able to access suggested resources, specific materials and additional links with a simple click. Print versions of the new book will be available in late April. To learn more about Getting Little Feet Wet, visit http://www.projectwet.org/earlychildhood. To purchase the digital book, visit the Project WET Store. Pre-orders are being accepted for the print version here.

Project WET Foundation President and CEO To Participate in World Water Day Events at the Vatican

Mon, 2017-03-20 11:52

FOR RELEASE: March 20, 2017

Bozeman, Mont. – On World Water Day 2017, Pope Francis will inspire a global conversation that will help shift how the world values and understands its single most precious resource: water. WATERSHED will be launched on March 22nd immediately following a Papal Audience on Piazza San Pietro. WATERSHED will be the first in a series of programs and activities slated for the next five years. Project WET Foundation President and CEO Dennis Nelson has been invited to join in the event and to advocate for the role of water education in solving the world’s complex water issues. WATERSHED will be streamed live on Facebook starting at 10:30 a.m. CET.

Dennis is attending WATERSHED as part of Project WET’s work with #MyWaterStory, a global social media conversation leading up to WATERSHED and other water-related efforts hosted by the Vatican. The #MyWaterStory campaign, developed by graduate students from Ball State University’s Center for Emerging Media Design & Development (EMDD) in conjunction with leading journalists and scientists from Circle of Blue, seeks to encourage discussion about the values and value of water. Project WET has shared its award-winning water resources education materials and worldwide network of partners to encourage involvement in the #MyWaterStory campaign.

Following the General Audience with Pope Francis, an exceptional amalgam of people from every walk of life and every corner of the globe will initiate an extraordinary exchange of ideas around the global water crisis. Experiences will be shared, opinions formed, and solutions presented. The objective is to align global perception with the immediate reality that water is the trigger for unrest and instability, as well as an opportunity for resolution and collaboration.

WATERSHED’s line-up of inspirational speakers, scientists, youth, and business leaders will be live-streamed from the Vatican for a globally connected audience that is invited to digitally share stories of their struggles, their hopes, and their fears about the world’s water supplies. This audience will bring new voices, content, stories, art, media and workable solutions to light.

Visit Facebook.com/valuesofwater starting at 10:30 a.m. CET on March 22, 2017 to view the live stream.

WaterStar: Beautiful Minds Ethiopia

Mon, 2017-03-13 10:48

This is the latest in a series of posts highlighting people and organizations around the world that 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. Any individual or organization that has used Clean and Conserve materials is eligible for consideration to be a WaterStar award winner. Submit your story to learn more.

A small social enterprise in Ethiopia is using the Clean and Conserve Education Program to combine education and action, with the goal of improving kids’ health. Beautiful Minds Ethiopia focuses on encouraging healthy behaviors, particularly around environmental and hygiene issues, with children in public schools and day care centers in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa. At the same time, the emerging social enterprise is working to recycle leftover soaps from hotels and provide schools and families to proper hand washing easier and more affordable.

Biniyam Solomon of Beautiful Minds Ethiopia told us about the organization’s activities and how Clean and Conserve has helped them in their work.

“We provide behavioral change trainings to school administrators as well as the children themselves. We also recycle leftover soap from hotel and spas and provide it to school children for hand washing. There are various organizations working to change hygiene behaviors, but purchasing soap remains a hardship for poor families. We are trying to fill this gap between organizations and individuals that are working to improve hygiene behavior and the families who cannot afford soap,” Biniyam said. “We are using Clean and Conserve in our hygiene and hand washing campaigns. We appreciate that the graphics are so international and can fit many cultures and colors.”

Biniyam noted that Clean and Conserve has helped them recruit student and community leaders to assist in school’s hygiene improvement programs.

“We are working in five schools where each school has more than 2,000 kids,” Biniyam said. “It's the worst hygiene scenario that you can imagine. We have been able to use Clean and Conserve as part of our ‘hygiene champions’ training to recruit more hygiene ambassadors at the school and community level.”

In addition to teaching kids about proper hand washing and enabling that behavior with soap, Beautiful Minds Ethiopia is also using Clean and Conserve to teach children why hand washing is important. “Clean and Conserve helps kids understand what can happen when they eat with unclean hands,” Biniyam said.

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 Chinese, Spanish for Mexico, German, French for Canada and Portuguese for Brazil (French and Portuguese materials are available for download from the English-language page). German-language materials will be available soon.

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)

 

Farming and Teaching Family’s Donation Funds New Water, Agriculture and Food Publication for Kids

Tue, 2017-03-07 12:01

Stan and Doris Griffin A hundred years ago, more than half of the U.S. population lived in rural areas. Kids raised in this environment learned from an early age how water was connected to food. When water was available, crops grew and livestock flourished. When water was scarce, the food their families depended on for both their own consumption and their livelihood was threatened.

Then as now, the link between water and food is inextricable. However, with about 80 percent of people in the United States living in urban areas today, kids are less likely to have a personal connection with agriculture—and therefore may have little understanding about how water relates to food. To help address this knowledge gap and address an issue critical to America’s Water Future, the Project WET Foundation is announcing a new "Water, Agriculture and Food" children’s activity booklet.

"Water, Agriculture and Food" is being developed thanks in part to a donation from Doris Griffin, in honor of her late husband, Stanley “Stan” Griffin, a North Dakota farmer, rancher and teacher. The Griffins actually met at a Project WET writing workshop in South Dakota, where both had been nominated by their peers as outstanding educators and for their longtime interest in water and science education. The gathering in the Black Hills helped generate ideas for water science teaching methods for potential inclusion in Project WET’s first Curriculum and Activity Guide.

Stan and Doris Griffin on their farm in North Dakota “Stan played an important role in the creation of Project WET when the original program was developed at the North Dakota State Water Commission,” Project WET Foundation President and CEO Dennis Nelson explained. “At the time, no one realized the water education materials created at the State Water Commission—with significant input from Stan and other teachers in developing, testing and using them across North Dakota—would one day be used by educators around the world.”

Dennis added that Stan loved helping other teachers learn about water and teaching new and creative instructional methods at Project WET workshops conducted around North Dakota. Stan was an enthusiastic and tireless volunteer instructor, and his and other teachers’ involvement as workshop leaders gave Project WET credibility with teachers.

“Stan enjoyed thinking of ways to educate children and others about water, not only from an academic point of view, but mostly because as a farmer and rancher, he dealt with water issues and challenges every day. This made Stan’s input and advice on the creation of the original Project WET instructional materials valuable, practical and relevant. You knew when Stan was talking about a subject like groundwater, his knowledge and stories were linked to real struggles to secure water from the well on the farm,” Dennis said.

Stan and Doris in 2004 Stan’s example of finding innovative ways to teach about water will be an important part of the development of "Water, Agriculture and Food", Project WET’s 61st such title in the Kids in Discovery series (KIDs) of children’s activity booklets. KIDs booklets employ interactive learning methods, colorful illustrations and independent or guided learning opportunities for children aged seven to 12.

“The 'Water, Agriculture and Food' KIDs booklet is intended for students and educators who may never have learned about what goes into growing and producing food,” Project WET Foundation Publications Manager Megan Regnerus said. “Young people need to understand how food gets to our grocery stores from other places and what we as a society will have to do to keep up with food demands as population increases. How water ties into these issues is critical to America’s Water Future.”

America’s Water Future is a public awareness and education campaign of the Project WET Foundation with a goal of helping people understand basic water science in the context of how water is used, managed and protected for the good of all water users. Project WET believes educating today’s children and youth is a positive first step in preparing them to address tomorrow’s water needs and challenges.  The "Water, Agriculture and Food" KIDs activity booklet is part of the America’s Water Future campaign. Doris’ donation serves as an example of how concerned people, agencies and corporations can get involved.

Domestic geese on the Griffin farm in North Dakota The 16-page booklet is not intended as an in-depth manual for those already immersed in agriculture, but as an introduction to the topic that will help students and all readers appreciate the vast amount of human effort, investment and ingenuity and cooperation by nature that is required to keep everyone fed three times a day, each and every day. In addition to the support from the Griffins, a survey of the Project WET USA Network ranked water and agriculture as their number one topic for a new KIDs booklet. The donation and the networks input together helped launch the project.

Further input from the USA Network helped identify content areas for the booklet, including: Feeding a Hungry World, Water Works for Agriculture, From Farm to Fork, Farmers’ and Ranchers’ Water Address, Risks and Challenges board game, A Historical Perspective, What’s on Your Shelf, and Our Water and Agriculture Future – Feeding the World in 2050.

“Doris’ support of the new 'Water, Agriculture and Food' KIDs activity booklet is a fantastic and fitting tribute to Stan,” Dennis said. “Stan knew the value and impact of education was not momentary, but lifelong. The new booklet will help youth across the USA and around the world better understand the challenges of feeding a hungry country and world from a water perspective.

The link between water and food is part of America’s Water Future. Find out how you can support education about how agriculture and food are connected as well as other vitally important water topics by visiting: http://www.americaswaterfuture.org.