Youth Water Education Resources

Youth have an important role in source water protection. Individually, as members of a family and community, and as future citizens, the youth of today have the power to act as catalysts to initiate change and guide development of future activities to ensure the health of the nation's drinking water sources. The Environmental Resources Center, in collaboration with a variety of partners in the public and private sector, offers the following programs for promoting youth water resource education:

Agua Pura

A manual for planning a workshop for leaders in Latino communities that want to promote involvement of Latino youth in water stewardship projects.

Cooperative Extension Supports Youth Environmental Stewardship (CESYES)

A national project that seeks to strengthen the abilities of Extension educators, 4-H county and state faculty, and professionals from other natural resources agencies to serve communities, youth leaders and youth.

Educating Young People About Water

A website that rovides the guidelines and materials to develop a community-based, youth water education program that targets youth and links key community members in partnerships--all working toward common water education goals.

Assessing National Water Quality Education Needs for the Nonformal Youth Audience (1992)
This document served as the spring board for many of the youth education resources listed on this Web page. It began as a 1991 request to identify youth water education needs across the country. ERC embarked on an exhaustive effort to identify youth water education resources, along with state, federal and NGO assessments of water education needs. As part of the study, we developed national criteria for reviewing youth water education curricula and a system for making the findings about specific curriculum available via the Internet. In the process we reviewed approximately 1000 water education resources, which helped us to identify specific gaps in youth water education. The study resulted in 19 findings, and a suggested list of 18 short and long term needs. These are still relevant in 2009 and many have not yet been addressed. 1992 Study Bibliography

Evaluating US Geological Survey (USGS) Water Education Resources

Helps educators evaluate uses of USGS materials and determine future needs for educators. Summarizes the focus group strategies developed to provide an assessment of the USGS water posters, other USGS earth science education materials, and future education resource needs for educators.

Give Water A Hand

Helps youth solve real water problems in their own communities with the aid of two guides-the youth Action Guide (also available in Spanish) and an accompanying Leader Guide.

Holding onto the GREEN Zone

A Youth Action Guide for the Study and Stewardship of Community Riparian Areas

The new Earth science curriculum, Holding onto the GREEN Zone, is a product of the Initiative that will encourage collaboration between land managers and youth educators/leaders to promote conservation of fragile riparian resources. Through the processes of science inquiry and experiential learning, learners will enhance their science knowledge and come to understand the importance of preserving and restoring riparian ecosystems.

The Youth Riparian Education Initiative is a collaboration of federal agencies and land grant universities to provide resources to engage youth in stewardship activities that support the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) riparian restoration goals. Project resources were primarily designed to help land managers communicate with the public about management techniques and decisions.

National Extension Water Outreach Education

This website facilitates access to resources and best education practices.

Project WET Wisconsin

The project facilitates and promotes youth knowledge and stewardship of water resources through the development and dissemination of teaching materials-the Project WET Curriculum and Activity Guide for Grades K-12.

Source Water Education

An evaluation of K-12 water education materials for topic areas related to drinking water sources. The report identifies youth curricula that meet source water education needs. It also outlines gaps that could be filled through expansion of existing materials, or creation of new source water education materials. Educators will find appendices useful in clarifying needs for developing curricula or in developing new curricula. Appendices include a bibliography of source water education materials and recommendations for what to include in a source water curriculum. A worksheet is provided to simplify the review of curricula according to priority criteria.

Water Action Volunteers (WAV)

A program for both kids and adults who want to learn about and improve the quality of Wisconsin's waterways through projects and hands-on activities. WAV volunteers across Wisconsin are learning about the environment while taking action to keep their local community waterways clean.

Youth as Partners, A Cooperative Extension Service investment in community-based environmental education, 1991-1998

The report describes impacts on youth water education nationally, as an outcome of development and dissemination of the Educating Young People About Water and Give Water A Hand resources. Impacts are summarized according to three priority themes: involving youth in communities; supporting educators and leaders; and building and fostering partnerships.