H2Opia - Celebrating World Water Day

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“H2Opia” was a fun event designed to engage Grade 7 and 8 students in all things water. Students from 5 schools from across Central Alberta were bussed in and hosted by the Innisfail High School.

Celebrating World Water Day
Photo caption: Our wonderful partners who helped deliver H2Opia

Students rotated through eight stations during the day, each hosted by a different organization:

Alberta Tomorrow: Students used an online landscape simulator to learn about landscape changes - past, present, and future.

ReThink Red Deer: This station had students pouring buckets of water over small-scale model houses to learn about impervious surfaces, rain barrels, and more.

Alberta Environment & Parks: This one was all about invasive species: zebra/quagga mussels, goldfish, and more!

Red Deer River Watershed Alliance #1: Bugs! Students identified aquatic macroinvertebrates and learned why they are so important for watershed health.

Red Deer River Watershed Alliance #2: This station had students reflect on recent water news and write love letters to local waters.

Trout Unlimited: This station had a bit of everything: students learned to identify different fish, dressed in a giant Trout costume, and made art using “fish prints”.

Cows & Fish: Time for Jeopardy! Students learned about riparian health and then competed in Jeopardy - Riparian Health edition!

Alberta Lake Management Society: A large watershed model was used to explain key watershed concepts, and discuss lake health issues.

Overall, we think the day was a great success. It was a reminder of how important it is to provide hands-on, interactive learning experiences to students. H2Opia also shows us that learning about water is fun!

This was the first time in a long tome the RDRWA offered an event to bring students from a number of schools together to immerse them in hands-on education about water. We had huge interest in the day, but ultimately only had capacity for about 200 students. We are already looking for the next H2Opia event in early 2018!

“The students and teachers were thrilled with the learning from the day. We appreciate the opportunity you brought to our division” Caitlin Fox, Chinooks Edge School Division.

H2Opia was made possible by funding from Environment and Climate Change Canada's "Environmental Damages Fund". We would like to give a special thank-you to the Chinooks Edge School Division, particularly Caitlyn, for helping to organize the day. Also, a big thank-you to the teachers and assistants on the day- and to all our partners who took the time to run stations for the students: Trout Unlimited, Alberta Tomorrow, Cows & Fish, Alberta Environment and Parks, the Alberta Lake Management Society, and ReThink Red Deer.

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