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Back to School – for NI Water too!

24 August 2015 16:16

Graeme Smyth, from Knockloughrim, near Magherafelt, with the Education Team’s specially branded Land Rover
Schools across Northern Ireland are preparing for the start of a new term, and that means it’s back to school for NI Water as we take to the roads to educate pupils about the “Wonderful World of Water”.  Pupils are invited to discover how NI Water cleans water and sewage, thus reinforcing the importance of water for all aspects of life.  
Over 17,800 primary and secondary school pupils were visited by our Education Team in the last school year, smashing their target by well over 7,000!
Pupils from almost 230 schools listened to our educators talk about how to save water; how much water to drink; what not to flush down the loo; some even had the chance to see a working sewage works! Many also had the chance to become a passenger on our travelling classroom, the Waterbus and become a nature detective around the beautiful Silent Valley, in the heart of the Mournes!
This year, we have a new, interactive feature to help us out – a ‘Pebble’ device! This allows us to quiz the pupils on what they’ve learned and provides a full, participatory experience for all schools on board.  It brings a new, fun, slant on this very important subject, and it only adds to the Waterbus experience!
Jane Jackson, Environmental Education Manager at NI Water, comments: “We had a really busy year in 2014/15, visiting over 200 schools across the country. We had lots of fun teaching the children about water, sewage and how we all have roles to play in both conserving water and breaking the habits of flushing the wrong things down the sewer.
‘‘We are looking forward to getting out and about again in the new school year and bringing the Wonderful World of Water to more children.
“What I always find funny is when we are talking to the children about the sewerage system, that they are afraid (at first) to talk about or even say the word ‘poo’! This lesson always gets a few giggles but the message goes through, ‘only flush the 3p’s: Paper, Poo and Pee!
“The Silent Valley visit is always fun too, as the children really enjoy stepping into the role of nature detectives and spotting all the different bugs and insects.”
Such is the popularity of the programme that we are now almost fully booked out for 2015/16 already! If you are a teacher and would like your class or school to get involved with NI Water’s Education programme, please email education@niwater.com.  

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