Student Action on Canadian Water Attitudes Competition
UPDATE: We are happy to announce the WINNERS of the Student Action on Canadian Water Attitudes Competition! Wildflower School in Nelson, BC won the Elementary Category of the competition and St. Joseph High School in Edmonton, AB won the High School Category of the competition. Students in Nelson (BC), Edmonton (AB), Estevan (SK), Winnipeg (MB), London (ON), and Grimsby (ON) participated in the competition.
Elementary Winner: Wildflower School
The grade one to six students at Wildflower School became involved with their city’s toilet-tank-bag campaign and became their ambassadors. Their class was featured with the toilet-tank bags in a double-page spread in their local newspaper. They gave a presentation at a Principals Association meeting and the principals distributed toilet-tank-bags to their own staff members and schools. The students had an informational booth at their local Co-op food store, complete with a real toilet, which they used to demonstrate the installation of the bags. They surveyed and informed the public and handed out hundreds of bags. The students wrote individual letters to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, before the Paris Climate Summit, to ask him to protect Canada’s water and to inform him of Nelson’s water issues. The students also talked to their city’s mayor and city council. The Chair of Blewett Watershed visited their classroom and the class went on a field trip to visit their local watershed, on snowshoes! The students became very motivated to help others conserve water and they also became very knowledgeable about the waterways around them.
The students at Wildflower School had sent a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. They received a letter from him.
High School Winner: St. Joseph High School
At this school, two Science 10 students of Science Academy – Center of Excellence in Laboratory Learning contacted the local Gold Bar Water Treatment Plant to obtain information about water treatment processes, water conservation, and water quality. They also joined the Chemistry 20 group from the same program to learn how to examine drinking water quality; they used Safe Drinking Water Foundation kits to test drinking water. The students taught other classrooms of students at their school what they had learned. They used blue jello to demonstrate water treatment processes, with treats of various sizes immersed in the jello to represent particles and bacteria present in water that have to be removed during filtration, flocculation, and disinfection processes. The level of knowledge in the school regarding practical water conservation methods and quality of drinking water increased dramatically. The participating students gained confidence that they can play an important role and be a positive influence in their community.
Thanks to funding from RBC's Blue Water Project, the Safe Drinking Water Foundation (SDWF) is privileged and excited to hold the Student Action on Canadian Water Attitudes competition.
Since 2001, the SDWF has been providing schools with the materials and support necessary to educate young Canadians about water quality issues through its distribution of water education kits to over 2,400 schools across Canada.
Taking place during the 2015-2016 school year; this competition is being offered to students, in Kindergarten to grade 12, across the country to investigate water issues in their city, or a city near them, with a population of 10,000 or more. The winning classes/groups will be presented with at least one water bottle filling station, reusable water bottles, and SDWF educational kits as part of a prize package valued at $6,500!
Students were tasked with understanding and educating residents in the community on their choice of issues such as: flood control due to impermeable surfaces, amount of energy required to treat water, high daily water consumption of Canadians, and uses of potable water. Along with the focus on water quality and security, students learned how to conduct baseline surveys, process data, and create a report. Their projects had five steps:
1. They brainstormed and decided on a water issue in their community to address.
Blog about the competition: actiononwaterattitudes.wordpress.com
If you have any questions about the competition or would like more information, please do not hesitate to contact Tim Vogel, Project Manager or Nicole Hancock, Executive Director at 1-306-934-0389 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The judges (SDWF staff members for the objective categories and volunteers for the subjective categories) will give marks for each of the following categories:
Our Volunteer Judges
Jania Chilima is also a fellow of the Collaborative Research and Training Experience Program in Human and Ecological Risk Assessment (CREATE HERA) of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada (2011-2014). She has a number of other professional and industry level certificates such as in: Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) Phase 1; Social Impact Assessment by the International Association of Impact Assessment (IAIA); and Environmental Monitoring for aquatic and terrestrial environment by EMAN Network of the Ministry of Environment Canada.
Jania Chilima has taken teacher education short courses on skills and competencies development for working in academic institutions. She has taught both undergraduate and graduate students, in Tanzania and Canada. At University of Saskatchewan, she has been a visiting or invited lecturer at the School of Public Health, Edwards School of Business, and Department of Geography and Planning. Jania Chilima has worked as research assistant directly involved in curriculum development for Edwards School of Business, the goal of which is to align the community engagement components of the school with the university guiding documents. Outside University teaching, she worked with grade 8 students and their teachers from Caswell Community School, which is part of the Saskatoon Public School (SPS) division, to complete a mini-module educational program on water issues in our region. This was part of SPS Earth and Space Science: Water Systems on Earth (WS) curriculum for talented students (Advanced Placement).
Jania is very interested in pro-bono work/volunteering especially in the water sector and organizations with a focus on quality of life in Saskatoon. She has participated as an adjudicator for students' projects and award committees at University of Saskatchewan (multiple departments and divisions) and with Meewasin Valley Authority and Partners FOR the Saskatchewan River Basin (Agrium Caring for our Watersheds Contest: Grade 7 – 12).
In the capacity of managing editor of ES&E, Peter has attended many industry events and conferences across North America. In 2014, he was invited to attend a Canadian press tour of Poland’s environmental industry. Peter has worked with authors, and edited articles, for a number of water and infrastructure awareness projects. He has a strong interest in evaluating public awareness campaigns.
Prior to her current role at RBC, Allison studied at McGill University’s School of the Environment, and also obtained her Masters of Applied Science from Ryerson University. As part of her Master’s degree she studied the impact of tourism on sea turtle populations in Indonesia. She later managed the Corporate Sustainability Program for a luxury hotel chain for four years. Allison is a sports enthusiast who especially loves competitive swimming and triathlon.
I was a National Representative with CUPE and worked on the mainland (Fraser Valley and Vancouver), Winnipeg, and then finished my career once I got to the Island. I have been retired for 12 years and I love retirement a great deal. Some weeks, I am so busy I feel like I am back at work!!
In 2005,a small water service in French Creek went up for sale and because the Regional District was reluctant to take it on it was bought by EPCOR. We fought very hard to not have this service go into private hands, but could not get the residents of the area to understand what would occur once it was privatized. EPCOR had also approached the City of Nanaimo in 2005 to take over their water service and a huge fight began once again to get the City to opt out of a letter of understanding between EPCOR and the City of Nanaimo that had been drawn up without any citizen involvement whatsoever. We won this latter battle, but lost the French Creek battle. This was the beginning of Vancouver Island Water Watch Coalition. I am the acting chair of this group of activists and Editor of the website www.vancouverislandwaterwatchcoalition.ca
I have ONE 3 year old grandson and my major goal is to leave him a planet he can live on!
In her free time, Caleigh is a competitive dressage (horseback) rider, and commits many hours a week to the sport. She also coaches the Carleton University Engineering Debate team and participates in the Carleton University Alumni Mentorship Program.
Reid completed his education at Acadia University (Bachelor of Environmental Sciences) in Wolfville, Nova Scotia and Queen’s University (Masters of Applied Science, Civil Engineering) in Kingston, Ontario.
Dr. Jamie Van Gulck
Jamie is a Principal and founding partner with Arktis Solutions Inc. and lead engineer within the organization. Jamie’s roles include contributing to the strategic, business and financial operations of the organizations, as well as, lead technical resource and project management. Prior to being a co-founder for Arktis Solutions Inc., Jamie worked as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Manitoba.
Jamie’s experiences span the following sectors: cold regions engineering; mining; northern infrastructure development; policy and regulatory review and development; land and environment management, and research and development. He has authored and co-authored numerous technical papers in various refereed journals and conferences. Additionally, he has contributed to the development of regulations and guidance documents for Government and Aboriginal organizations in the sectors of mining and municipal infrastructure.
Thank you so much to all of these busy professionals who have taken the time to help us with our competition!
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