The 5th graders at Jenkins, Hatherly, Cushing and Wampatuck Elementary Schools learned about their local water resources and water conservation by participating in the Water All Around You program. The curriculum, a part of the regional WaterSmart programming, was created and presented by the North and South Rivers Watershed Association and funded by the Scituate Water Department.
The students participated in a series of activities that illustrate important concepts about water. They witnessed how pollutants, including fertilizers and dog waste left on the land, wash into local water bodies via a simulated rain storm on a watershed model. They did a taste test of three different types of water, including Scituate’s own tap water, filtered water and distilled water. They also observed through a sophisticated ground water simulator how water travels below ground, carrying pollution with it to streams and ponds.
A live demonstration also showed them how rocks and soil can actually clean dirty, polluted water. Students also played a game trying to see what daily tasks they could accomplish using 65 gallons of water. (The 65 gallons is the recommended Massachusetts daily maximum allotment per person in order to have enough water for public safety and consumption). They quickly discovered the one activity they couldn’t do to stay within the 65 gallons per day recommendation – lawn watering – which can actually consume thousands of gallons in a day.
One of the 5th grade teachers said, “The Water All Around You program has really helped our students appreciate their water resources much more. We thank the Scituate Water Department for the funding that made this all possible, and we are sure that our students will become much better stewards of our water after this program!”
WaterSmart program manager Lori Wolfe, said, “The purpose of the program is to help students realize that the quality of our water is directly influenced by how we care for the land in our watershed.” She added, “Our hope with this program is to instill a sense of stewardship in the students, and to help them develop a strong commitment to protect these natural resources for their own and future generations.”
The WaterSmart program is a regional outreach effort to educate people about ways to conserve and protect local water supplies. The NSRWA, in conjunction with 10 towns on the South Shore; Scituate, Marshfield, Weymouth, Norwell, Kingston, Hanover, Duxbury, Pembroke, Hingham and Hull, provides education to children and adults on topics like water conservation, Greenscaping lawns, WaterSmart Business, stormwater, pet waste and more. For more information, please visit watersmartsouthshore.org