The U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the National Institutes for Water Resources is requesting proposals for the Water Resources Research National Competitive Grants Program, FY 2017 (104g) matching grants to support research on improving and enhancing the nation's water supply.
Arizona Project WET Hosts Flagstaff Water Festival
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – More than 660 fourth graders gathered with their teachers and parents at Foxglenn Park on Sept. 26 to learn about water on the earth system with the help of 37 volunteers from the City of Flagstaff, Northern Arizona University and Coconino County Public Health District.
Held during the school day, the interactive and festive event was organized by Arizona Project WET (APW) in collaboration with the City of Flagstaff Water Conservation Department. The mission was to help students and their teachers gain a deeper understanding of how water works and where Flagstaff’s water comes from.
Last year the Flagstaff Water Festival program was revitalized thanks to the financial support of SCA, a global hygiene and forest products manufacturer based in Flagstaff, working in conjunction with the City of Flagstaff Water Conservation Department who also provided funding, staff time in local coordination, and equipment.
SCA and the City of Flagstaff continued their key support of the program this year, enabling APW to support 15 new teachers with the Water Festival professional development workshop and to expand the festival to include charter and private schools, such as the Montessori Charter School of Flagstaff and Mountain School. At the professional development workshop, teachers practiced using the inquiry process and science note-booking in order to increase their students’ 21st century skills.
“I had a great time. It is an amazing curriculum and I can see the immediate learning the students were having,” wrote City Manger Kevin Burke, “Thanks for bringing it to Flagstaff.”
The Water Festival event is also supported by an expanded curriculum that includes pre- and post-festival lessons to prepare for and extend student learning. At the event, students engaged with interactive models to perform science investigations of watersheds, the water cycle, groundwater flow, and water conservation. NAU volunteers were trained in class, while community volunteers attended a separate two-hour training.
The growth in teacher and student participation is in no small part a reflection of the Flagstaff Unified School District’s active support. FUSD provided teachers with reimbursement for their time at the workshop, as well transported FUSD classes for free to the Water Festival event.
Staff from the Willow Bend Environmental Center as well as the City of Flagstaff’s STEM City Connections Coordinator Mindy Bell helped recruit volunteers, many of whom were no doubt inspired to attend when City Manager Kevin Burke stepped up as the first City employee to sign up to volunteer.
From City Manager Kevin Burke and SCA engineer Annikki Chamberlain’s enthusiastic support as Area Coordinators to the NAU students missing class to gain field experience, everyone in the community pitched in – braving the windy weather – and made the Water Festival program a huge success. In addition to the sight of 4th graders smiling ear-to-ear after the festival, volunteers and staff were rewarded with delicious food donated by Fratelli Pizza and Oregano’s Pizza.
For more information about the Arizona Water Festival program, please contact Tina Sleeper at email@example.com.
WRRC Director Sharon B. Megdal and Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy Director Robert Varady participated in the Budapest Water Summit, which was held November 28-30, 2016 in Budapest, Hungary. The Summit, with the theme of "Water Connects", had a significant focus on the policies required to achieve the water-related United Nations-2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In particular, Sustainable Development Goal Six calls for ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
During 2017, the Water Resources Research Center will work tirelessly to bring trusted water information to Arizona stakeholders and to share Arizona's water story with others. We will connect water consumers with natural restoration actions through Conserve2Enhance. We will bring the world of water to K-12 students through Arizona Project WET. We will train students and instill a passion for Arizona's water sustainability. And through our Water RAPIDS program, we will engage and help Arizona communities as they face extremely difficult water resource decisions.
Copper King's Water Academy students wanted to engage 4th and 5th graders in learning water concepts. These 7th and 8th grade students learned how difficult it is to balance inquiry, exploration, and discovery with structure and discipline when teaching.
Kerry Schwartz has built water stewardship in Arizona through the development and delivery of STEM instruction as the Director of Arizona Project WET. Now, she has the opportunity to lead other experts in water education on an international level. This month, Kerry was invited to sit on the Board of Directors for the Project WET Foundation along with Thomas Atkins, Housing Program Director with the USDA, Richard R. Arnold II, Mission Specialist at NASA, and others.
This year the WRRC is trying something new by focusing its 104b grants program on student research projects. The program, authorized under the Water Resources Research Act, Section 104(b) and funded through the U.S. Geological Survey, provides small grants for research that explores new ideas to address water problems in Arizona and expands understanding of water and related phenomena.