AMES, Iowa — Water Rocks!, a uniquely Iowan, award-winning, statewide water education program based at Iowa State University, is well on its way to surpassing the 150,000 participant mark in 2020.
At the end of 2019 the program eclipsed 130,000 students reached since the teams began visiting schools across the state in 2013.
“In each of the past two years we’ve presented our programming to more than 30,000 students and we’ve already worked with more than 3,000 in 2020,” said Ann Staudt, Water Rocks! director with Iowa State University. “With approximately 600,000 school-age children in Iowa, we are reaching about 5% per year.”
Water Rocks! delivers its science- and research-based conservation and water quality education programming through classroom visits, outdoor classroom programs and assemblies. The program uses a creative mix of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), music and the arts to connect students in grades K-12 with information about Iowa’s natural resources and ecosystems.
All programing is aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards that have been adopted by most Iowa schools.
Classroom teachers can select from five unique content areas for intensive and grade-level appropriate lessons from the Water Rocks! educators. They are also provided with pre- and post-visit materials and guides to maximize the lesson impacts.
Assemblies are delivered to larger groups and leverage high-energy original music, videos, audience participation and skits to generate excitement among the participants and promote environmental awareness.
“Science teachers and administrators across Iowa look to Water Rocks! and Iowa State to provide engaging and accurate information that will stimulate interest from their students in understanding our environment and in taking action,” said Staudt. “In the feedback we solicit after every engagement we often hear that the students feel empowered with the knowledge that each can do something to help the environment, whether they live in a city or on a farm.”
To learn more about Water Rocks!, or to request a classroom visit, assembly, or outdoor classroom for your school, visit www.waterrocks.org.
— Liz Juchems and Ann Staudt, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach
For more news from Iowa, click here.