Munsey Elementary Fifth- and Sixth-Graders Win 2021 H2O Challenge
The Cal Water H2O Challenge (challenge.calwater.com) is a collaboration between
The students began their research on greywater by speaking with a representative from the
According to Elrod, the challenge immensely impacted both the students and their community. “My students felt empowered by the experts' interest in their results and project. For a while, it seemed everyone in their lives and the whole school community was talking about their project,” Elrod said.
Since this year’s competition was focused on design, the students plan to continue their pursuit of using greywater to increase water conservation in their community. Elrod described the lasting impact of the challenge, saying, “The overall effect of the water challenge is that my students made changes in their decisions about water usage. They now have a desire to educate others about water and encourage others to develop good water conservation habits. They have learned to work collaboratively, and become activists for environmental policies and change. In addition, the project proved that greywater can be a useful resource to help solve our local water problems.”
Elrod believes that her class rose to the occasion and benefited greatly from the challenge. “I believe one success was to give my students projects that were meaningful to them personally and connect with the larger community that they would not otherwise have known about or been a part of. It gave them a reason to be invested in math, science, writing, and research,” Elrod said. “Also, students' talents and interests emerged, and they were exposed to different careers. Now, some students are hoping to be architects or engineers, scientists, social activists, chemists, teachers, web designers, and so on. And, they all have a desire to win money to go to college. A big success was seeing a growing awareness that what they were doing was important. They achieved their goals and found real answers to local water problems.”
Despite the unprecedented challenges this year presented, by integrating water conservation, educational programs, and school curriculum, DoGoodery, CASE, and Cal Water’s partnership transcended distance learning and provided a space to connect with students and bring STEM (Science
Technology, Engineering, and Math) and NGSS (Next-Generation Science Standards) into the virtual classroom.
“Ms. Elrods’ fifth- and sixth-grade students went above and beyond to help support water conservation through their research on greywater, and I’m pleased to congratulate them on winning this year’s
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Source: California Water Service Group