Our vision for Canada is a place where we recognize, appreciate, and work to sustain our access to clean, fresh water. This project focused on awareness, education, and empowerment surrounding the issue of water usage. This project taught students about the three major uses of water (industry, agricultural, household) and what are some ways that they can make positive changes in their daily habits and choices to reduce the amount of water usage their life is contributing to. This is an important issue in our community because many of our students waste water unnecessarily, and we want to garner a sense of understanding and action that our students can bring with them into their home communities over the summer break.
Our project was an afternoon of education. Students were divided into 4 groups, with around 25 students per group, There were 2-3 student or staff facilitators per group. Each group was given a large plastic tub that has several large, medium, and small holes cut in it. The teams were also given a few different containers. They were stationed near the lake (water). Using only the few containers they have, their team needed to try and fill up their tub with as much water as they could. Other team members tried to plug the holes, using only their bodies. This activity was timed, and it soon become evident that it’s nearly impossible to keep water from seeping out.
After that activity had concluded, there was a debrief in those smaller groups, facilitated by the student leaders. What was challenging? What did this represent on the whole? Where was energy being used or wasted? What did the different holes represent, etc.
They then had a meaningful conversation, led by the student leaders, on ways that they can reduce their water consumption in their daily lives.
We confirmed the date – got rained out – rescheduled, and ran it in the second last week of school. We purchased the required materials, made each tub, and ensured that all the youth leaders have run through the activity and were able to run it again and debrief it after.
Although the idea for this macromodel came from a teacher, the youth leaders ran the activity on the day-of, and took great ownership over the planning process.
This brought together our entire community as they worked together in an interactive way, and came together to debrief and made a plan for action.
Reflection & Celebration
Challenges were initially in finding time to fit this activity in for the whole school. Perhaps we could have done it class by class, but with the limited timing that was difficult. We were also trying to make the debrief and learning part meaningful, but were unable to get specific stats on water usage at school that we could have used to bring the issue more into their understanding. This is something that can be repeated again, perhaps next year, and the conversation surrounding water and its wastage can be an issue that this committee continues to work on.