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Students Get Their Hands Wet for World Water Day 2010

World Water Day

O.P.F. Girls College students take a GLOBE Water Walk through Lake View Park, Islamabad, Pakistan

Water, one of the most essential elements for our survival, makes up approximately 71 percent of Earth's surface and two-thirds of the human body. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the quality of the ecosystems this imperative resource is obtained from. Participation by GLOBE students in the U.N. sponsored World Water Day allowed GLOBE students from 67 schools in 14 countries to investigate water sources in their local areas by engaging in learning activities such as The pH Game, Water Detectives, Hydrology Site Definition and conducting the GLOBE pH Protocol, among others, and, to gather data for long-term research projects. "We are proud of the scientific investigations and data collection by GLOBE Students in the first GLOBE-sponsored World Water Day event. Students collected water quality data on five continents and we are thrilled to hear of their investigation findings. It is so exciting to see students have the opportunity to be a part of something bigger than just their school," stated Dr. Donna Charlevoix, Director of the Science and Education Division for the GLOBE Program Office. The week-long campaign took place 22-26 March 2010, and consisted of the collection and entry of hydrology data as well as the analysis of worldwide water issues. In addition to investigating the potential problems with Earth's water supply, participating groups collaborated to celebrate local water resources. GLOBE encourages positive actions such as stream clean-ups, watershed restoration, and public outreach activities, during this annual event, and all year long. Highlights from all six GLOBE regions follow.


Argentinian students prepare for World Water Day Activities

GLOBE school, Escuela Provincial No. 38 Julio A Roca, measured water pH in the Argentine Base Esperanza, located on an island off the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. Argentine Country Coordinator and GLOBE International Advisory Committee Representative for the Latin America-Caribbean region, Professor Maria del Carmen Galloni stated, "It is very important to take hydrology measurements at this location." The historical significance of this report includes the birthplace of Emilio Marcos Palma, the first person to be born in Antarctica. Geographically, the Base Esperanza exhibits unique qualities since it is located in the middle of the Adélie Penguin rookery, containing roughly 100,000 pairs of resident penguins, and includes tourist facilities visited by approximately 1,100 tourists each year. The contribution of GLOBE data from this location broadens the scope for students, educators, and scientists learning about water quality in different parts of the world.

Doing sceince

The partnership between Cape Hatteras and UNC-CSI is teaching students about local water systems

Students at Cape Hatteras Secondary School in Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, celebrated World Water Day with multiple activities throughout the week. Each middle school and high school student found one fact about water and posted this fact throughout the school premises. Students created posters regarding the importance of conserving this valuable resource as well as the limited amounts of usable freshwater available on Earth. Many students were shocked to learn that not everyone in the world possesses the same access to water as they do. Cape Hatteras students collected water quality samples every day during the week from a pond and a creek, two important GLOBE study site locations found behind the school that are impacted by the runoff from precipitation. During lunch, high school students set up a booth to teach other students how to collect water quality data and the importance of measuring Water pH, Water Temperature, Salinity, Electrical Conductivity, Water Transparency, and Dissolved Oxygen. Middle school students kept water usage logs for one day to estimate the amount of water they use on a regular basis. The students also calculated water quality health, using the Water Quality Index (WQI), developed by the National Sanitation Foundation in 1970. In addition to their research, students picked up trash along the estuary located behind the school premises. Students in Ms. Christin Brown's class oversee a sustainable aquaculture system, garden, and have constructed several oyster reefs behind the school. Their partnership with the University of North Carolina Coastal Studies Institute has taught them the process of testing water quality and how varying levels of nutrients can impact a system. Take a look at their Current Coastal Studies Project.


Students collect hydrology data from Chattar Park in Islamabad, Pakistan

Each year, students at the Overseas Pakistanis Foundation Girls College in Islamabad, Pakistan, participate in a variety of World Water Day activities. Girls from this school began actively incorporating GLOBE activities into their hydrology research projects as a result of the GLOBE Ocean for Life regional project in 2009. During World Water Day this year, they gave insightful presentations on water conservation and conveyed the importance of access to clean water through beautiful art pieces that were then exhibited at the college. In one poster, a human face is divided into two halves, depicting the concept of life and death due to the effects of pure and impure water. Midweek, Dr. Khushi, a renowned scientist, and teacher, delivered an informative lecture in the college auditorium, emphasizing the quality and test parameters of drinking water. Students were then taken on a GLOBE Water Walk at Lake View Park, enthusiastic in their effort to create awareness about the conservation of natural reservoirs and the purification of water. They carried banners highlighting the importance of clean water and ended the day with the collection of hydrological data using GLOBE Protocols from the Rawal Lake and Chattar Park to help determine whether the chemical composition of the water was fit for drinking and recreation.

snow stuff

Forrest Getz collects data from the headwaters of the Rio Grande

Home-schooled High School student Forrest Getz from Laurel Springs School took his hydrology data straight from the Rio Grande, which runs just miles from his home in Creede, Colorado. The Rio Grande is the fourth largest river system in the United States and forms a piece of the border between the U.S. and Mexico. Getz became involved with GLOBE as a result of his need to fulfill a requirement in environmental research for his school's chapter of the National Honor Society, using volunteer hours. When Getz first looked at the GLOBE Web site, he became interested in GLOBE's hands-on activities that are similar to his own independent research projects. Forrest expressed "I really would like to participate in the Water Campaign project and provide data from the headwaters of the Rio Grande!" GLOBE Colorado Partner Deanna TeBockhorst became involved by training Forrest using distance learning training techniques which allowed him to properly perform the GLOBE pH Protocol both upstream and downstream of the Rio Grande Reservoir for a unique data contribution to the event. He now plans to monitor these locations regularly through GLOBE.

India art

An artistic message designed by students in India

GLOBE school Bandarawatta Parakrama Maha Vidyalaya in Gampaha, Sri Lanka commemorated World Water Day with a Hydrology workshop for students and teachers. GLOBE Country Coordinator Damayanthi Balasuriya and GLOBE Trainer Shanthi Siriwardhana collaborated with the Ministry of Education and the Gampaha Zonal Education Office to host the event. Sixth and seventh-grade students from WP/Gm/ Parakrama Maha Vidyalaya participated along with GLOBE students and teachers from WP/Gm/ Dompe Siyane Vidyalaya and WP/Gm/ Kuruwamulla Maha Vidyalaya. The morning session included lectures and discussions regarding the water crisis, the importance of conservation and protection, and the relevance of GLOBE Protocols to gather data for use in research projects studying the environment. Students learned how to conduct GLOBE Hydrology Protocols in the freshwater stream Aththanagalu Oya, careful to take their measurements within one hour of solar noon, as outlined by the GLOBE Teachers Guide. The students learned Hydrology Site Definition, Water Transparency, and Water Temperature Protocols. Dissolved Oxygen, Alkalinity, Nitrate, and were carried out at the school lab. The workshop was overseen by Director of Education Development Sisira Mallawarchchi and facilitated by In-service Advisors Iranganie Abekoon and Sarath Karunananda. The Sri Lankan team is hopeful the workshop helped to develop positive attitudes toward the conservation and protection of water sources and to enhance the competencies on implementing hydrology research.


European students create World Water Day posters

The George community in South Africa is familiar with the effects of the water crisis as they are experiencing the worst drought in 100 years in the Western Cape of Africa. In honor of World Water Day, GLOBE schools in George, Western Cape and Indwe, Eastern Cape, concentrated on the problem of water accessibility with a full week of activities that culminated in a competition. Cultural Arts were integrated as students created awareness posters to express the harmful reality of water limitations. Small-scale water audits were integrated into math classes to demonstrate the importance of preservation. Jointly, Namibia and South Africa compared the biodiversity in local bodies of water and participated in invasive eradication programs. The week concluded with an awards ceremony where certificates and prizes were presented to those who excelled in the competitive World Water activities.

Forty-four schools from Europe and Eurasia participated in World Water Day, including eight schools from the Czech Republic. Students from Gymnazium, Kadan collected and removed garbage around an important spring and stream in a nearby village. In addition, students performed other botanical investigations to learn about local water sources. At ZS Trebic School, older students taught younger students how precious water sources are, how to protect them and how to analyze the quality of water using GLOBE Hydrology Protocols and methods. High school students at Integrovana stredni Skola, Valasske Mezirici prepared an outdoor lesson on water for grammar school students. Together they analyzed water quality, presented methods, and demonstrated tools that could be used within the GLOBE Hydrology Investigations for future research projects.

Dr. Teresa Kennedy, Director of the International Division for the GLOBE Program Office and GLOBE U.S. Country Coordinator, states "International participation in World Water Day benefits GLOBE students tremendously by strengthening the sense of community between regions. It is phenomenal to see data received from all over the world for a common purpose. These simultaneous analyses by so many students in differing environments build useful knowledge about Earth's water supply and provide baseline data for future studies."

World Water Day in March preceded April's GLOBE Live Earth Event, which showcased data collected from World Water Day and drew attention to the critical water situation through a 6km Run for Water and local educational activities.

View the pH and People Poster for World Water Day 2010.

View a list of participating schools and their water pH values.

For additional information about the GLOBE World Water Day 2010 event, please see Frequently Asked Questions.

See examples of GLOBE schools engaging in World Water Day on Facebook and Twitter.

Find out how to become a GLOBE School.

27 May 2010