Going With the Flow to Promote Improvements – Local partnership helps students appreciate water
Sometimes, you just have to go with the flow to improve the environment. It’s a practical philosophy that is helping the SLEA send an important message about water conservation to hundreds of young people across Sarnia-Lambton each year. For close to 10 years, the SLEA has given financial support to the St. Clair Region Conservation Authority’s Go with the Flow Program, a series of inclass activities designed to help students fromgrades 4-8 learn about our water resources and the need to manage them wisely.
During 2008, conservation educators presented the highly popular program to close to 850 young people, including visits to 24 schools across Sarnia- Lambton. Teachers appreciate the program, because it gives them direct access to knowledgeable conservation authority technical personnel, who can provide the required water and soil curriculum lessons to the students in a manner that is accurate, effective and with a local context. The hour-long lessons comprise of a variety of grade-appropriate and hands-on activities. From the students’ perspective, the important environmental lessons are fun to learn.
Participating students learn about water’s role in the hydrologic cycle, aquifers, photosynthesis and the transformation of rocks and minerals into soil. Through experiments, role playing and discussions, the young people discover how factors, such as drought, flooding and human demands, affect our water resources. Most importantly, the young participants discover how they can apply a variety of measures, ranging from planting trees to daily conservation practices, to help protect water quality and quantity.
In addition to providing post-presentation worksheets, conservation education staff has also built a program evaluation component into the Go with the Flow activities. Through a water-related game show-type quiz conducted at the end of each class visit, young participants have consistently confirmed that they have understood and are able to apply the program’s conservation messages.