WaterBus = Schools Water Awareness and Education Project.
What started as a WISA Young Water Professional site visit to places where these professionals are likely to work in, ended up as a schools initiative, a marketing stunt and a test run for what promises to be a national umbrella initiative.
On Friday, 8 October 2010 a group of students from UCT, CPUT, UWC and SUN, the four Universities of the Western Cape, visited Bridgehouse School (Franschhoek) and Simondium Primary to do an experiential learning experience, followed by a technical site visit to Wemmershoek Wastewater Treatment Works, the Bergriver dam and a groundwater monitoring site close by. It was as much a technical learning trip as a test run for the WaterBus – to see how we can expose all children in South Africa to Water Awareness and Education.
The goal of this WaterBus tour was to:
- Give the WaterBus idea a testrun
- Improve students' understanding of why talking to the public is important
- Create awareness among students and school learners about the water cycle, why we need to clean (and pay) for both purifying water and cleaning wastewater
- Create awareness of the water industry among the public, especially school learners
- Give back to society, make friends and build networks across industries and backgrounds
- Initiate routes to stimulate critical thinking and awareness in the public mind at large
The bigger picture:
If you ask kids "What is the most amazing thing about water?", what answers will you get? How can we use these answers to combine water and science education with 'Water as a Lifestyle':
Combine the things that make geeks rock with the stuff that makes society roll
In short, have fun, and only realise you learnt a heck of a lot when you're back in class. There are more than 26 000 schools in South Africa. How do we tackle them all?
Browse the blog to find out what worked, what didn't and what's happening now.
WaterBus in the news: Supernews
Partners of the day: World Water Monitoring Day, a global educational outreach program that aims to build public awareness and involvement in protecting water resources by empowering citizens to carry out basic monitoring of local water sources. www.worldwatermonitoringday.org