A lot has been going on with the Students of the Water Institute Graduate Section (SWIGS) Outreach Committee recently. And by recently, I mean over the last six months. But it certainly has been a whirlwind of activity!
Our group put together a water education curriculum for the University of Waterloo’s Let’s Talk Science group! Our four activities are all based around the Grand River Watershed. First is a Water Treatment activity where student use coagulant to treat water and make observations. Next is an activity which teaches students about the potential impacts of climate change in the area, from storm water challenges to drought. Thirdly is a wetlands and groundwater activity where students time how long it takes for water to travel through different earth materials. Thank you to the Rudolph Group for helping with construction! Lastly, land use and watershed behavior is included – students have to play a game where they must negotiate over limited water resources to find the best solution of everyone. This fun activity is geared to a Grade 8 science class level and we have been very pleased with the results thus far! If you are interested in volunteering with Let’s Talk Science, check them out here: http://www.letstalkscience.ca/.
SWIGS Outreach has also attended amazing events in the community, including the Surface Tension, Future of Water Exhibit at The Museum. This was a truly remarkable display of all things water. You can learn more about the exhibit here:
We also participated in in a City of Waterloo Community Planting event on the North Campus of the University of Waterloo. On that particular planting event, 800 native shrubs and trees were planted by the community in as effort to restore this urban forest. Learn more here: http://www.waterloo.ca/en/living/communityplantings.asp
Also of note is our visit to Victoria Lake Park. The City of Kitchener gave SWIGS Outreach a tour of the park restoration project at the park that has vastly improved the lake’s water quality.
We have also been very lucky with the success of our SWIGS Outreach Speaker Series. We have had speakers come in from Water for People, GlobalMedic, and One Prosper. I am particularly thankful for the talk presented by Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux who came to Waterloo to speak about water on First Nations communities and what students can do to understand and get involved. It was an inspiring talk and I am so appreciative of her sharing those stories.