The Department of Water Resources (DWR) and its partners are providing learning resources to support water education while many California families are dealing with the challenges of distance learning. These free supplementary materials include workbooks, posters, and activity guides for teachers, educators, and parents, as well as online programs such as Water Wednesdays.
“Water touches every aspect of our lives,” said DWR Water Education Specialist Kathy Schulz. “DWR is proud to provide teachers, students, and parents with educational resources at this challenging time. Learning about how water directly impacts our everyday lives – from the food we eat, to the electrical power in our homes, to public health and recreational opportunities – is a key part of a well-rounded curriculum.”
Examples of our materials include:
- Simple workbook with coloring pages for young children (ages 4-6)
- Complex workbooks that introduce California’s water systems to older children (ages 9-12)
- Guides to help children and parents to become flood ready
- Worksheets on conserving water at home
- Posters introducing middle and high school students to topics such as groundwater and climate change
- Activity guides for parents and teachers that provide instructions for simple, hands-on science activities
These materials, and many more, can be downloaded or ordered online and shipped as paper print-outs free of charge.
Partner agencies’ education resources
Other natural resources and water education materials available from some of our partners include:
- The California State Parks’ PORTS program, which has allowed K-12 students to virtually visit parks from their classrooms through live, interactive videoconference presentations for over 15 years. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, PORTS has added daily webinar opportunities that students can access from home.
- Cal Recycle’s Education and Environment Initiative materials – including elementary, middle, and high school units on water – are available for teachers and families.
- The California Department of Fish and Wildlife offers online education resources, including virtual visits to the Nimbus Fish Hatchery and Yolo Bypass.
- The Project WET Foundation has online activities and has made available some of their hands-on activities from the Project WET 2.0 curriculum guide.
- Many local water agencies are also supporting water education. While some programs and materials are only available to service area residents, others can be used by school and home educators anywhere. The Central Contra Costa Sanitary District is offering a virtual visit to a water treatment plant. You can also listen to a water-focused story from Valley Water (Santa Clara County). Check out your local water district for more potential options.
Water Wednesdays Brings the Classroom to You
Make sure to check out Water Wednesdays, a 30-minute program featuring DWR scientists sharing about various aspects of water in California and the work they do. The program is broadcast every Wednesday at 1 p.m. on DWR’s YouTube channel. Viewers can also pre-register and join through Zoom where they can ask the presenter questions or watch a recording later as their schedule permits.
You can find links to these and other water education resources on DWR’s website. Check back frequently; as new resources become available we will add them to our site.
For more information, and to be reminded about upcoming Water Wednesday presentations – which will resume on August 26 with a five-part series on salmon - follow DWR on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.