Students master interactive educational experience developed in collaboration with the North American Association for Environmental Education
Students at Parkview Elementary in Chico, Calif., are helping spread the word on the importance of water quality and conservation by producing green-screen public service announcements (PSAs). The class, along with its teacher Pete Pembroke, took third place in the 2017 Cal Water H2O Challenge, winning a $2,000 grant for the classroom and Cal Water giveaways for each student.
For their project titled “H2O Green Screen Public Service Announcement,” students researched concepts such as the water table, pollution, and drought cycles to better understand water conservation issues. They invited speakers from Cal Water and their local park service, allowing students to meet and ask questions of field professionals. With this foundation of knowledge, students then used green-screen technology to produce a series of PSAs, sharing the importance of water conservation with others.
“My main goal was for the kids to come away as environmental stewards,” said Pembroke. “We decided that making public service announcements that would teach others about water pollution and conservation would be not only informative and purposeful, but fun. The great thing about this was the kids were really engaged in the learning, because they knew they’d use the information to make a great green-screen video.”
The Cal Water H2O Challenge (challenge.calwater.com) is a collaboration between Cal Water and the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE). It is open annually to students and teachers in grades 4-6 in schools served by Cal Water.
“We are inspired by the creativity and hard work of Mr. Pembroke’s class,” said Ken Jenkins, Cal Water Director of Drought Management and Conservation. “We are well served when future generations build this foundation and engage in water issues, so together, we can help improve the quality of life in the communities we serve.” The Challenge also furthers NAAEE’s National Project for Excellence in Environmental Education goals, per Christiane Maertens, NAAEE’s deputy director. “This competition is teaching kids how to be hands-on advocates for resources their communities value the most,” she said.
NAAEE’s partnership with Cal Water is expanding water conservation efforts throughout the state and building educational programs into school curriculum. “Most importantly, students are learning the basics of science through environmental education,” Maertens explains. “These projects give students the opportunity to integrate the learning principles of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) and NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards) in solving problems that directly affect our schools and neighborhoods.”
The North American Association for Environmental Education is a membership organization dedicated to accelerating environmental literacy and civic engagement through education. NAAEE supports a network of more than 20,000 members working in environmental education in more than 30 countries through direct membership and 54 regional affiliate organizations. For more information, visit www.naaee.net.