The North Plains Groundwater Conservation District’s annual “Save the Planet’s Water Festivals” reached over 800 students in three towns over three days! The events were Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday May 16-18, starting out in Perryton, then transitioning to Dalhart , and finally ending in Dumas. The fourth graders learned about their water resources and other natural resources through engaging and fun activities, designed to show the students how they can make a positive difference on their environment.
Students attended various interactive presentations during the day to learn more about water and water conservation. “This is the twelfth annual Children’s Water Festival and one teacher says she’s been coming since the beginning. “It is a great combination of learning and fun that makes an impact that stays with the students for years to come,” said Sherry Robinett, Dumas fourth grade teacher.
For the fifth year, the festivals all featured a grand finale with an entertaining and educational program from Kevin Barnes, “The Green Magician.” Barnes has had a successful career presenting “entertainment only” magic performances, but then combined his passion for the environment with his love of magic to present environmental stewardship in an entertaining and informative way. He has since presented for 19 consecutive years at the Orange County Water Education Festival, the largest event of its kind in the country with an annual attendance of 5,000 students.
“The district presents the water festivals to fourth graders because they are at an important developmental stage in their lives, and we want to give them important information about their natural resources that will hopefully inform their future decisions as adults,” said Steve Walthour, NPGCD general manager.
Activities for the day included:
The Incredible Journey – Students become water droplets in the water cycle as they roll giant dice to see where in the water cycle they will go next. Students make a bead bracelet that documents their journey, and they may follow up back at school with a story writing exercise describing their trip.
We All Live Downstream – Using a watershed model, students learn about point source and non-point source pollution as they add pollutants to a watershed model and then “rain” on it with spray bottles to discover the effects of the pollution. Students also learn about their local watershed where they live and how their actions can affect their watershed.
What’s In the Pond? –Texas AgriLife Extension Entomologist, Bonnie Pendleton teaches students about aquatic organisms and the way scientists can evaluate the condition of a body of water by the organisms that live in it. They make water striders to illustrate the idea of surface tension.
Water Trivia – Students compete in a wild and noisy game of trivia where all the questions involve water and the water resources of the Panhandle.
Community volunteers, organizations and agencies recognize the need to help our young people develop a stewardship-conscious way of living. Organizations who assist with the water festivals include, Valero Energy, West Texas A&M University, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, 4-H, Frank Phillips College-Allen Campus, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, Leo Club of Dumas, Amarillo College Lions Club of Dumas and the City of Dalhart, as well as individual volunteers.
For more information contact Kirk Welch at firstname.lastname@example.org or 806-922-7947.