The District’s education team is actively working with partners and the public to promote its main objective: provide awareness that water sourced from Beaver Lake is made clean and safe for drinking by Beaver Water District. Goals with our First Tee partnership are to teach curriculum-based water science to students through Beaver Water District’s lessons as well as select Project Wet and Project Learning Tree activities during after-school programming. Students are actively engaged in the hands-on activities that create an atmosphere for critical and creative thinking. The Incredible Journey and Water Clarity are just two of the many hands-on lessons provided to the students.
The Incredible Journey activity describes the movement of water within the water cycle and identifies the forms of water as it moves through the water cycle. The students are encouraged to imagine themselves as a water droplet traveling through the water cycle. They create a keychain with different colored beads that represents the places where water can move during their water cycle journey. The places/stations include clouds, plants, animals, rivers, oceans, soil, groundwater, lakes, and glaciers. After the activity, students discuss what conditions and states of matter were necessary for water to move to each station.
When many people think of water quality, they are thinking of water clarity. The Water Clarity activity teaches the difference between water quality and water clarity. The students evaluate the quality of different water samples through visual observation. Samples include clear jars filled with salt water, water from a mud puddle, rubbing alcohol, tap water with food coloring, tap water with fertilizer, and water from a stream. Once they have decided which water sample is the “most clean,” we discuss the difference between water clarity and water quality. There are many uses for water: human consumption, cooking, cleaning, wildlife, livestock, manufacturing, etc. With each sample we explain which would be best suitable for the uses listed above.
All activities include discussion on their drinking water source, Beaver Lake. The partnership with First Tee has allowed for lessons to be taught at four different Springdale schools, with the programming expanding into other schools in the future. Whether the team is discussing the financial benefits of drinking tap water over bottled water or the process of how lake water becomes drinking water, they enjoy seeing the students’ progress and adding Northwest Arkansas specific elements to the lessons.