Driving Change in Water Education
21 August 2017 14:50
While we are busy buying uniforms, new school shoes (some which require an appointment!) and of course, the topical PE kits, NI Water’s education team are already set for another school year.
With three dedicated vehicles to deliver the education programme across Northern Ireland, our team really are ‘driving change’ through engaging with our young people about water education. Since 2007, over 100,000 pupils have learnt about the wonderful world of water and in 2016/17 alone, we visited 20,000 pupils!
Anna Killen, NI Water’s Environmental Education and Outreach Officer, reflects on the record breaking year, “To say last year was busy, is an understatement! The Waterbus visited 162 schools across all counties and council areas, in cities, towns, villages and remote rural areas.
“This year also saw another milestone for the programme surpassing 100,000 pupils, representing a tremendous achievement in delivering what matters for our future generation of water users.
‘‘The miles clocked up as we travel from place to place are significant, and serve to demonstrate the wide appeal of the programme, as do the ever-increasing numbers we speak to every year.
‘‘It’s been particularly special this year, as NI Water has marked a decade of delivering what matters in health, the economy and the environment for all of us in Northern Ireland. The education programme plays its part in spreading that message to our audience, and it’s wonderful to help school pupils get a greater understanding of this very precious resource; how it’s cleaned and that all rely on it every single day to do so many tasks and activities. What’s more, the students carry those important messages home with them, thus educating other family members.
‘‘We are very proud to be the only utility company in Northern Ireland with a mobile learning facility like the Waterbus and can travel from school to school and continue to spread the word about water.
‘‘We’re pleased to welcome schools on a visit to a functioning sewage works in Belfast and to the glorious beauty of Silent Valley in the heart of the Mournes, the source of the drinking water for much of Belfast and County Down. We also regularly visit classes in primary and post-primary schools to talk about the use of water and what we can all do to conserve it.’’
‘‘We’re looking forward to clocking up even more miles from September, when we and our water vehicles hit the roads again!’’
The programme is aimed at Key Stage 2 and designed to complement a key element of the Northern Ireland Primary Curriculum - the ‘World Around Us’.
A teachers’ learning pack, with further classroom activities is available to download from www.niwater.com/education.
NI Water’s education team Pat McCauley and Anna Killen.