LWA Students Take Action on World Water Day
World Water Day was celebrated worldwide on March 22 this year and on March 25 at Lawrence Woodmere Academy. Students in grades 5-9 prepared for the day by watching a GCC water video, giving them the background information for an understanding of some of the issues surrounding the availability of clean water around the world. Students engaged in a lesson to prepare them to partake in the activities led by Sylvia Wong of Concern Worldwide US.
After a brief orientation to the afternoon’s activities, students broke up into three groups and rotated among various water activities:
1- Calculation of Daily Water Consumption: Students calculated an estimation of their total water use per day by looking at various water-consuming activities they or their families engaged in each day, including baths, showers, tooth brushing, washing dishes by hand or with a dishwasher, toilet flushes or drinking glasses of water. Once they had calculated how many gallons of water they used per day, they compared their results with how many gallons an average African family uses per day. Students learned that their average use was around 160 gallons per day compared to the average African family which uses 5 gallons per day!
2- Water Droplets Collage: Students used GCC’s water guide as a resource for information about water usage in a variety of settings around the world. They chose interesting facts or questions and wrote them on “drops of water”. These water drops were turned into a giant collage. One collage was made by the 9th grade students and one by the Middle Schoolers. The water collages will be displayed at school as a way to share the importance of the issue through the messages the students created.
3- The Water Walk Challenge: Students were given the opportunity to walk in the shoes of many children from around the world who have to travel 3-5 miles each day to collect water for their family. Students chose to carry either a 2.5-gallon or a 5-gallon jerry can filled with water. They lugged it the length of the handball court and back. What an eye-opening experience for the students! Many of them commented how difficult it was to walk a short distance with the jerry can and contemplated the unbelievable reality that children have to walk miles each day to fetch water in order to survive.
These hands-on experiences deepen our students’ understanding about important issues in the world as they become increasingly at home with the world.
Donna Linton is Lower and Middle School Director at Lawrence Woodmere Academy in New York.