Posted November 3, 2022
SAN JOSE, Calif.—California Water Service (Cal Water), in partnership with DoGoodery, has launched the ninth annual Cal Water H2O Challenge. This year, the program includes multiple opportunities for students, classrooms, and school-based clubs in Cal Water service areas to engage in water-related activities.
The Classroom Challenge invites students in fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-grade classrooms to develop and implement solutions for local water issues. The Individual Challenge is an art competition for K-12 students. The Grants Program, a year-round opportunity, offers $100 grants to teachers proposing unique classroom water projects that fit into their curriculum.
The Cal Water H2O Classroom Challenge builds on eight successful years of the project-based learning competition. With the implementation of complimentary office hours and virtual meetings, along with an updated handbook, new video guides, and free additional resources, the Teacher Ambassadors and advisors have developed a clear pathway to engage students in real-world inquiries while helping reach curriculum goals.
This year’s Classroom Challenge will embrace the learnings of the past few years, which focused on design due to COVID restrictions, and its previous history that had an emphasis on implementation. Participating classrooms are asked to design a solution around a local water issue and then to deploy or begin deploying that solution. That may mean that the class fully implements the solution, or that the classroom raises awareness about its solution and the issue through an outreach campaign or engagement of civic leaders to address the problem.
“It’s hard to believe we are already in our ninth year of the Cal Water H20 Challenge alongside our partner DoGoodery,” said Martin A. Kropelnicki, Cal Water President and CEO. “With expanded offerings and more free resources available than ever, we are excited to see how this year’s teachers and students dream up solutions to important water issues and the care, awareness, and conservation they show and utilize to protect our planet’s limited resources.”
“It’s become clear that project-based learning can be a real game-changer in the classroom for getting students involved and passionate about learning. We hope teachers will take advantage of this wonderful, complimentary program to implement water education in their classes. As water challenges continue to arise, we are excited to see how students today will work to address these complex issues and develop solutions that will impact not only their own lives but also the lives of future generations,” said Christiane Maertens, DoGoodery Founder.
The Classroom Challenge grand-prize winners will receive a $3,500 classroom grant with additional prizes for each participating student. Runner-up classrooms receive grants and prizes for additional students and teachers. All Classroom Challenge participants will receive student and teacher recognition in addition to an AMEX gift card for participating teachers.
Tiffany Rachal and her fourth-grade students from Bonita Street STEAM Academy (Carson, Calif.) won first place in the 2021-2022 Cal Water H2O Classroom Challenge for their project titled “Mission: Make Our Oceans Blue Again.” Polluted water in the Dominguez Channel made headlines in the fall of 2021, and the students were eager to find a way to take action and help their community. For their project, students conducted research with Heal the Bay and through a trash tracking activity, minimized the amount of trash that ends up in landfills and oceans by starting a recycling and composting club, and educated others on recycling and composting as a method of diverting potential water pollution.
“Our students witnessed the effects of pollution on their friends and family members, and the need to take action is real and authentic for them,” said Rachal. “They were eager to get to work, solve problems, and collaborate for our common good.”
For more information about the programs and eligibility requirements, visit challenge.calwater.com.
About Cal Water
Cal Water serves approximately 2 million people through 494,500 service connections in California. The utility has provided water service in the state since 1926. Additional information may be obtained online at www.calwater.com.
DoGoodery is a full-service agency that provides customized strategies and services to help you reach your impact goals. Our expertise spans a wide range of critical social areas with a foundation in business, and we collaborate with your team to custom-design innovative strategies and seamlessly manage and execute the work. For more information visit www.dogoodery.com.
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