In May of this year, educator Brenda Campbell attended a free MEEC/Boeing Project WET (Water Education for Teachers) workshop that was supported by Needles Unified School District Superintendant, Dr. Mike Davitt. Brenda shared her experience with me on how she was able to easily modify the lesson to work with her special ed students immediately after the workshop. I shared her letter with Brian Brown, California State Project WET Coordinator, which he included in the just released “California Project WET Gazette” “Summer Gazette”
Below is an excerpt of Brenda’s experience with her students.
“We had been talking about conserving water off and on all year. It’s a pet peeve of mine to see water being wasted while we live in a desert and are in a drought.
We made the meters as described in the activity, but without the liters on one side. My special education students would get all wrapped up in trying to figure out the difference and not pay attention to the main idea of the assignment. So with gallons listed we made the ribbon slide. We listed a few of the things they use water on and they kept track daily for only three days. On the fourth day we combined our info and discussed each individual’s data. My students did not all follow the directions but we got the general idea and displayed one student’s data on the board (they are too low in math for this). I showed them how fast their usage of water adds up. I asked them to come up with ways to help slow down the use of water in their homes. They had a lot of good ideas.
They met my overall goal of increased awareness of their water use. They suggested making a contract for all of us to sign that says we promise to try and use less water every day. Many things on the list include turning off the water while you brush your teeth, turning off the shower after getting wet to soap down and then turn back on to rinse off. This is where one student said his sister shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near the shower!
It was definitely an adaptation of the lesson in the Project WET activity book. I had limited time, limited abilities in the students and never thought I could do a lesson even remotely this satisfying. If it had not been for the lesson in the book…ready to go…I wouldn’t have done it. I don’t usually take manuals home for the summer to study, but I am taking this one home. Thank you.”
– Brenda Campbell, Vista Colorado Elementary School, Needles Unified School District. Brenda participated in one of the Mojave Desert Project WET workshops offered by the Mojave Environmental Education Consortium (MEEC) sponsored by a grant from Boeing.
If you have attended a MEEC teacher workshop and have a success story using materials or techniques gathered from a workshop that you would like to share with other teachers, please contact Christie Robinson, MEEC Program Specialist at (760) 245-1661 ext 6101 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org and share your story.