Arizona Project WET (Water Education for Teachers) - Water Festivals

Research Year: 
2009
Issue: 

Prolonged drought has reduced water resources in Arizona, making water sustainability a critical issue for all generations. Arizona Project WET (Water Education for Teachers) aims to deepen young students’ understanding of water as an interconnected resource, thus helping them to become emissaries of wise water use in Arizona communities.

Description of Action: 

Arizona Water Festivals use structured Arizona Project WET lessons that meet 4th grade water education standards, covering the water cycle, value of water and conservation, watersheds, and the ground water system. Nine water festivals were held in 2009 in Nogales, Maricopa, San Simon, Sierra Vista, Verde Valley, Payson, Tucson, Yuma and Chandler, serving 4,877 students, 220 teachers and 248 parents. Sixteen community leaders also participated. In addition 104 high school students who served at Arizona Water Festivals also learned these important water concepts. Specialized volunteer training around the state reached 491 volunteers in 2009—the number of students served grows each year.

Impact: 

Over the past decade, 1,336 teachers have worked with their students to enhance the learning experience of the Water Festival by carrying the learning goals into the classroom. This creates a learning community where teachers and students alike are motivated to learn about water and to work together to protect Arizona’s water future. Since 2000, the Arizona Water Festival program has served 33,337 young Arizonans in 20 Arizona communities—youth who are caring for watersheds, conserving water and sharing this knowledge with their friends and families. The hundreds of volunteers trained to deliver effective water education have increased their own water literacy and are now more able to talk about water issues with friends and colleagues throughout the community. One hundred percent of participating teachers agreed that the water festival expand student knowledge on water-related topics, feel that it helps them to teach things they are required to teach in a more effective manner, rate their students' reaction to the festival as "excellent" and feel that the water festival should be repeated in their community; 98 percent agreed that their students are more likely to conserve water after they attend a festival. Volunteers provided 2,554 service hours delivering the festivals, a contribution valued at $51,719 (using Independent Sector value of $20.25). One hundred percent of all volunteers surveyed in 2009 said their time was well spent; 98 percent reported they would volunteer again.

Conact Name: 
Kerry Schwartz
Contact E-mail: