Fall 2019 Canada-Wide Competition

student action on canadian water attitudes competition

Thanks to funding from The W. Garfield Weston Foundation and RBC, the Safe Drinking Water Foundation (SDWF) is privileged and excited to hold the Fall 2019 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 2,700 different schools across Canada. During the 2015-2016 school year a Student Action on Canadian Water Attitudes Competition was held. The winning schools were located in Edmonton, Alberta and Nelson, British Columbia. During the 2017-2018 school year a Student Action on Saskatoon Water Attitudes Competition was held and the winning school was Saint George School. During the 2018-2019 school year we held a Student Action on Saskatchewan Water Attitudes Competition and a Student Action on Canadian Water Attitudes Competition. Now, we are excited to again hold a Student Action on Canadian Water Attitudes Competition which will enable any school in Canada to compete for fame and prizes!

Taking place during fall 2019; this competition will be offered to students, in kindergarten to grade 12, in Canada to investigate water issues in their community/area. The competition will involve students surveying their community to get an understanding of knowledge and attitudes on a topic of their choice and presenting their findings in a report. The grand prize will be for the top school in Canada, it is valued at $3,000 and includes a water bottle filling station, a commemorative plaque, and possibly some reusable water bottles and/or water testing kits! There will also be a prize package for the top school in Saskatchewan, it is valued at $2,200 and includes a water bottle filling station and a commemorative plaque. (Note: If the top school in Canada is located in Saskatchewan then the second place school in Saskatchewan will win the prize package valued at $2,200.)

Students will be tasked with understanding and educating residents in their 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 Canadian residents (anybody taking one hour showers in your household?!), and uses of potable water. A necessary component will also be to teach people where their tap water comes from (a surprising number of people don't know!). Along with the focus on water quality and security, students will learn how to conduct baseline surveys, process data, and create a report. Their projects will have five steps:

1. They will brainstorm and decide on a water issue in their community/area to address.
2. They will conduct preliminary surveys.
3. They will develop a plan and take action to educate and involve people in the community concerning the water issues they have chosen to address.
4. They will conduct follow-up surveys.
5. They will present the results of their efforts (i.e. report and pictures/video/etc.) which will be judged by a panel of water experts in order to declare the winning group of students.

We will hold webinars which will explain every step of the project. We will be there to support the teachers and their students every step of the way! We will always be available to answer questions, help with tech issues, or just to bounce ideas off of – only a phone call (1-306-934-0389) or e-mail message (info@safewater.org) away!

By joining us in changing attitudes on water issues facing Canadian residents, your students not only will have a chance to win an amazing water themed prize package but will also be proactive in positive change in their community and environment!

If you have any questions about the competition or would like more information, please do not hesitate to contact Nicole Hancock, Executive Director at info@safewater.org or 1-306-934-0389.


Register for the student action on canadian water attitudes competition!

Students will learn about their water source, educate others about their water source, take action to conserve water, and encourage others to take action to conserve water. The project will include an initial survey and at least one follow-up survey to see how the students have changed their fellow community members’ knowledge, attitudes, and behaviour.

This competition will have two prizes: The grand prize will be for the top school in Canada, it is valued at $3,000 and includes a water bottle filling station, a commemorative plaque, and possibly some reusable water bottles and/or water testing kits! There will also be a prize package for the top school in Saskatchewan, it is valued at $2,200 and includes a water bottle filling station and a commemorative plaque. (Note: If the top school in Canada is located in Saskatchewan then the second place school in Saskatchewan will win the prize package valued at $2,200.)

Thank you to The W. Garfield Weston Foundation and rbc for the funding to enable us to hold this competition!

This competition will be open to all K-12 schools in Canada.

Please complete this form to register:

Teacher Name *
Teacher Name
Phone Number *
Phone Number
Street Address *
Street Address
Please select the best time (your local time) for your students and you to attend webinars. We realize that people will be in a variety of time zones - we will convert the time zones to figure out the best day and time to hold the webinars.

Recordings for this Student Action Competition

First Webinar: Competition Launch, Problem Identification, Baseline Surveys


Our Judges

Helen Bae

Helen Bae

Helen is currently a Senior Manager of Finance in Business Financial Services at RBC.  She enjoys her role as a financial advisor to various business partners, specifically in the areas of business strategy, management reporting for performance measurement, and forecast and planning processes.  Helen holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Schulich School of Business at York University, and a Master of Business Administration from Ryerson University.  In her spare time, Helen loves to read, travel and practice yoga, and enjoys being close to nature by camping and hiking.   

Jimmy Huang

Jimmy Huang Smaller.jpg

Jimmy is currently a co-op student at RBC as a software developer. His academic background consists of studying business administration at Wilfrid Laurier and computer science at the University of Waterloo. In his free time, he enjoys swimming at his local community centre. He decided to volunteer for this event because he wants to raise awareness about drinking water. When he is swimming, he is surrounded by water, but the water is undrinkable due the level of chlorine contained in the pool. Similarly, although 71% of Earth is covered by water, only 2.5% of it is consumable freshwater. As a result, for many people in the world, water scarcity is a severe issue that threatens their very livelihood. He is excited about this opportunity and he looks forward to the students’ submissions.

Hamzah Naeem

Hamzah

Hamzah is a civil engineering student at the University of Calgary. He is currently working as a Manufacturing and Construction Intern with TC Energy. As a civil engineer, he might have the opportunity to explore a career in water/wastewater engineering. He decided to volunteer because he would love to raise awareness amongst the public about their water.


Recordings of webinars from previous student action competitions

While the following webinar recordings are from previous student action competitions, the steps of the current competition are the same and, therefore, these recordings might help you!

The following two webinar recordings are similar. We have posted both because participants asked different questions during the webinars.

The following webinar recording is of the Discussions webinar - where the steps of the action projects were reviewed, some examples of winning projects were given, and teachers had the opportunity to ask questions and have a discussion.

The First Webinar: Launch Webinar

The Second Webinar: Surveys Webinar

The Third Webinar: Educating the Community

The fourth webinar: follow-up surveys

The Fifth Webinar: Final Reports


Resources for Student Action Competitions

Student Action on Water Attitudes Resources

Most Canadians take water for granted. We think we have lots of it and it will always be there. So in 2008, RBC started polling Canadians about their attitudes towards water—to see if the serious water issues around the world were having an impact on how we use and think about water, and tracking whether our attitudes are changing.

RBC has encouraged the broad dissemination of the data and its findings because they want to help contribute to a healthy conversation about the value and vulnerability of water in Canada.

Water Usage Calculators:

Other Resources:

Water Conservation Information:

1 U.S. Gallon = 3.79 Litres

1 Imperial Gallon = 4.55 Litres

Approximate Water Usage of Household Appliances:

Example of calculation of water usage (shower head flows at 190 U.S. gallons per hour for 10 minutes):

Water used per minute in U.S. gallons: 190 U.S. gallons/60 minutes = 3.17 U.S. gallons/minute

Water used per minute in litres: 3.17 U.S. gallons x 3.79 litres/U.S. gallon = 12 litres

Water used in ten minutes: 12 litres x 10 minutes = 120 litres

If you need any help with calculations, worksheets, etc. please contact Nicole Hancock at info@safewater.org or 1-306-934-0389, she does have time to help you (and she loves math - actually, she's also a high school math teacher!).


Final Reports

To complete the final report of your project and have your project judged for prizes you will need the following information: 

- Your school’s contact information

- Where the project took place

- Description of your action project (including the issue you decided to tackle, why you chose that issue, the steps you took to distribute surveys, educate the community, and the reaction you received from community members) in 1000 words or less.

- Whether your students attended or watched any of the webinars which were held by Safe Drinking Water Foundation. If yes, you will need the number of webinars and the number of students who attended/watched the webinars.

- The number of youth (0 to 21 years of age) who were directly involved in the implementation of this project (i.e. students who wrote surveys, educated community members, distributed surveys, etc.)

- The number of volunteers (if any) who were involved in the implementation of this project (parents, people from local companies who volunteered, general community members, etc.) and the number of volunteer hours which were invested into your project.

- The number of people you educated

- The number of surveys which were distributed and the number of people who completed each survey

- The number of community educational events which were held (i.e. the number of times your students spoke at an assembly about water issues, the number of events at which they spoke, etc.).

- The number of any formal or informal partnerships which were developed through collaboration as a direct result of this program/project (for example, did you get the employees at a local company involved, or a local watershed group, etc.)

- The number of litres of water saved or the number of litres of water saved and the number of water saving devices installed.

and/or

- The square metres of impermeable surface (ex: concrete) made permeable.

- An outline of the process you used in order to calculate the decrease in water usage, the number of water saving devices installed and/or the square metres of impermeable surface made permeable, including a description of the conversion factors, worksheets and/or calculations you developed.

- The percentage of survey respondents who were correct when they responded to the first survey in regards to from where their water comes.

- The percentage of survey respondents who were correct when they responded to the last survey in regards to from where their water comes.

You can submit up to 12 photos and one video that is five minutes in length or shorter. You can send photos and a video to info@safewater.org.

By submitting photos and/or a video, you consent that SDWF, the w. garfield weston foundation and rbc have the right to use the photos and/or video provided. (Note: Depending on your school’s/school division’s policies you may need signed release forms.)

Teacher Name *
Teacher Name
Phone Number *
Phone Number
Street Address *
Street Address
Did your students attend and/or watch any of the webinars which were held by Safe Drinking Water Foundation? *
(i.e. students who wrote surveys, educated community members, distributed surveys, etc.)
(parents, people from local companies who volunteered, general community members, etc.)
(For example, if you distributed baseline surveys and follow-up surveys then you distributed two different surveys.)
(i.e. the number of times your students spoke at an assembly about water issues, the number of events at which they spoke, etc.)
Did you form any formal or informal partnerships through collaboration as a direct result of this program/project? *
(For example, did you get the employees at a local company involved, or a local watershed group, etc.)
Which of the following are results of your project? *
(Your project could involve more than one of the following. Please check all that are applicable.)
(This could be per day or per week or per month, please specify and explain.)
(Please note that you cannot earn points solely for number of water saving devices installed - you will need to also enter the number of litres of water saved.)
(Include conversion factors, worksheets and/or calculations you developed. If these are worksheets/pictures you can email them to us at info@safewater.org. Please include your school's name in the subject.)

Judging Information

The judges (SDWF staff members for the objective categories and volunteers for the subjective categories) will give marks for each of the following categories:

Objective criteria, marked by SDWF staff members

1. Percentage of people who now know where their drinking water comes from (out of 5 possible marks).

2. Number of community members who were engaged in the project (out of 5 possible marks).

3. Litres of water conserved or area of impermeable surface made permeable (out of 5 possible marks) – if actions were made in both areas the one for which the higher mark would be awarded will be judged.

Subjective criteria, marked by volunteers

4. Students changed community members’ attitudes and/or behaviours regarding water (out of 5 possible marks).

5. Pictures and/or videos were included which represent the project (5 marks, 3 marks or 1 mark).

6. Community Members of Various Ages Were Engaged in the Project (out of 3 possible marks).

Judges’ and Safe Drinking Water Foundation staff members' decisions will be final.