As Canada celebrates its 146th year since Confederation, I was excited to spend the big day dressed in red-and-white in Waterloo. As member of the Student of the Water Institute – Graduate Section (SWIGS), I helped organize a station in the UW Activity Zone to get kids excited about water through educational games and activities. It took quite a bit of preparation that was all made possible by our Outreach Committee.
Leading up to the big day, we constructed a small model of the Grand River Watershed that was inspired by a larger version at the Waterloo-Wellington Children’s Groundwater Festival. Our tabletop version was designed use marbles instead of ping pong balls to demonstrate how precipitation falls, creating small tributaries that converge to form larger rivers, like the Grand. We were all quite pleased with the finished product and how we were able to use simple tubing, hot glue, and a laminated image to make such a professional looking model.
On the day of, I did some last minutes preparations, including filling 62 water balloons. They were mostly just for fun and to get kids excited because what kid doesn’t like playing with water balloons?
In addition to the balloons and watershed model, there was also a bracelet making station – where the coloured beads represented different quantities of the world’s water – bubbles, and a drawing station, all of which were free courtesy of the Water Institute. I might have been having too much fun with the bubbles.
I think that the kids really enjoyed themselves! Professor Josh Neufeld posted a photo of his son on Twitter enjoying the Water Games station. We had really good attendance throughout the event, it was a busy time but so much fun that it made the event fly by. Before we knew it, it was time to get food, enjoy the Spirit of the West concert, and settle in for fireworks.
I must thank the volunteers, both members and friends of the SWIGS Outreach Committee, for all of their help preparing and setting up for the event, and especially for their enthusiasm in getting kids excited about water! Thanks guys and happy belated Canada Day everyone!
Photo credit: Allison Bawden and Michelle Cho, thank you!