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News from the Education Foundation

Posted: January 29, 2013

The Water Authority Partnership Supports STEM Through Innovative and Fun Hands-On Activities

The Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority has been a partner to the district for many years. Over 600 hands-on presentations for grades K-12 classroom on water conservation and groundwater protection are made annually. All materials are level appropriate and aligned with the new Common Core Curriculum.

Learning can be really fun, as this photo of Water Utility staff and Chamiza ES teacher (center) and students shows.

Learning can be really fun, as this photo of Water Utility staff and Chamiza ES teacher (center) and students shows.

Teachers are encouraged to sign up on the education page of to participate and take advantage of the water related materials like books, posters, and videos.   The agency offers a variety of presentations and activities annually.  Recently ABCWUA Education Coordinator Sharon Sivinski and new Water Educator Theresa Dunn performed a puppet and magic show to 2nd graders at Chamiza ES.  The students sat in rapt attention during the entire presentation while learning facts and tips on water conservation all wrapped up in fun – through magic and puppets. 

Chamiza ES teacher Karen Bush loved the presentation and its impact on her students.  “The Water Resource Education Program provides free educational opportunities for elementary aged children.  This is the 3rd time they have presented in my class and each presentation has been appropriately geared for the children and is interactive as well as educational.  The children really love the live entertainment and being able to participate in the shows.  This years’ show was a magic show focusing on plants and animals and how they use water.  The puppets identify a variety of human organs (SC 2.3.7) and teach about how water was necessary for these organs to function,"  she said.   

"The children LOVED when the pack rat magically made a flower appear.  With a song and body movements the children learned about the changes that occur when substances are heated or cooled and change from one state of matter to another. (SC 2.2.2)  Using the puppets, they also identified ways in which people and living things depend on water (a natural resource) to meet basic needs. (Geog.SS 2.2.5)   As you can see, this is a great way to reinforce concepts covered by the new Common Core Curriculum.  I would highly recommend that teachers take advantage of this free resource," says Ms. Bush. 

 A few days later, Water Authority staff and other water professionals were at the Rio Grande Nature Center with Montezuma ES fourth graders for a Monday RIO field trip.  Some students were eagerly acting out the various stages and flow of the Rio Grande and its tributaries while other groups enjoyed hands-on learning in the education center or  hiked to the river.  Students are also given a variety of “take aways”, depending on the activity,  like coloring books on Water Magic and backpacks labeled with the “The River is Ours” RIO logo.  

Tours of the Southside Wastewater Reclamation Plant for students in grades 4 and up are also offered.  Students learn how wastewater is cleaned and then returned to the river.   A huge thanks to the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority and many other business and community groups that partner with the APS Education Foundation/Join-a-School program to support STEM in our classrooms.   As you can see from the picture below, taken by a student, these Montezuma ES 4th graders are learning about water conservation in an innovative, interesting and hands-on manner.