From the Project WET K-12 Curriculum & Activity Guide
The Project WET Curriculum and Activity Guide, for kindergarten through twelfth grades, is a collection of innovative, water-related activities that are hands-on, easy to use, and fun! Project WET activities incorporate a variety of formats, such as large and small group learning, whole-body activities, laboratory investigations, discussion of local and global topics, and involvement in community service projects. Developed, field-tested, and reviewed by hundreds of educators and resource managers around the country, the Project WET Curriculum and Activity Guide addresses the goals of Project WET and The Watercourse.
People's relationships to water are a major theme of the Project WET Curriculum and Activity Guide. Providing a thorough water education program, the guide also addresses water's chemical and physical properties, quantity and quality issues, aquatic wildlife, ecosystems, and management strategies. Project WET activities promote critical thinking and problem-solving skills and help provide young people with the knowledge and experience they will need to make prudent decisions regarding water resource use.
The Project WET Curriculum and Activity Guide is available to all formal and nonformal educators through workshops provided by state Project WET coordinators or trained facilitators. Classroom teachers, park naturalists, museum educators, environmental education specialists, and others can adapt and integrate these activities to satisfy the needs of their curriculum, setting, time frame, and/or audience. The activities cut across many disciplines in the study of water and water resourcesÑchemistry and physics, life science, earth systems, natural resources management, history, and culture.
Using tools provided within the guide, educators may easily organize activities into units of study or pick and choose their individual favorites. Many Project WET activities require little preparation and can be conducted within one class period. However, other activities cause students to experience a variety of approaches to learning water-related concepts, thus involving more preparation and class time. These thorough, extensive activities help students construct multiple connections among knowledge, experiences, feelings, and actions, thereby promoting the retention of relevant water concepts.
Because of the number and diversity of activities and the space restraints of the guide, background information is necessarily brief. Educators desiring further information can refer to the list of selected resources provided for each activity. For a more in-depth investigation of specific topics - such as wetlands, water conservation, ground water, watersheds, and water history - Project WET modules (publications that focus on a single topic and include an extensive reference section and 25 to 50 activities) are available. For more information about Project WET modules, see page 505.
Project WET acknowledges and appreciates the support of WREEC and the efforts of hundreds of educators and resource specialists in conceptualizing, developing, writing, reviewing, and testing the Project WET Curriculum and Activity Guide. By utilizing these activities, educators and young people nationwide will travel through the water cycle, conduct a water festival, solve the mystery of a waterborne disease, and debate contemporary water management issues. Through these experiences, today's learners and tomorrow's citizens will view water not only as a shared resource, but also as a shared responsibility.
A note about word usage, grammar, and writing style. The writing style within the guide follows The Chicago Manual of Style, 14th edition; spelling is based on The Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 2nd edition. The term ground water is presented as two words within the guide based on the recommendation of the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the primary water management data agency for the country. Ground water (two words) correlates with surface water (two words). When referring to Earth, the planet, a capital E is used and the article the is omitted. The word earth, with a lowercase e, is used to designate soil and rock materials.