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Arizona Project WET (Water Education for Teachers): Water Stewardship
By moniquegarcia on Tue, 08/20/2013 - 11:56am
Water quality and availability in the arid West are issues that affect all Arizonans, including youth. By training teachers to present water awareness education in K-16 classrooms, Arizona Project WET (APW; “WET” stands for “Water Education for Teachers”), administered through the University of Arizona's Water Resources Research Center, assists in building water-related decision making skills in both students and adults. APW is recognized as the only comprehensive water education program for K-16 audiences with a statewide partnership and delivery system.
Description of Action:
Water education curricula were developed by water resource specialists working together with teachers. In 2009, statewide water education programs involved 485 teachers reaching 29,227 students. As part of the third grade water unit for Tucson, Sunnyside, and Flowing Wells districts, UA students presented 209 in-classroom ground water flow model presentations to 4,734 students in 2009. The Sweetwater Wetland Water Festival culminating event was attended by 157 third grade classes reaching 4,729 students. In 2009 the Energy & Environmental Science 6th Grade Unit, incorporating 16 APW lessons, was finalized and adopted in the same districts. The peer-reviewed School Water Audit Program and Arizona Water Map Curriculum Guide offer new teaching resources to educators and students. The Wild Ride though the Water Festival Online Module is available on the APW web site for digital learners and teachers.
Survey data shows that 93 percent of the teachers participating in the statewide workshops “intend to become a better water steward as a result of an APW workshop,” 97 percent said the “the resource materials provided will be helpful for teaching about water & environment,” and 95 percent said the workshop activities were relevant and improved my knowledge." The third grade water unit has been adopted as one third of the science curriculum for 5,673 students in Tucson, Sunnyside, and Flowing Wells district schools. For those same districts, the Energy and Environmental Science Curriculum is one third of the curriculum for 4,862 sixth grade students.