Water Rocks! Summit kicks off today

WRSummitLogo-NoYear(Print)Teachers from across the state of Iowa will be descending upon Ames for the start of the Water Rocks! Teacher Summit this afternoon.

The Water Rocks! Summit is a unique, fun, and highly engaging professional development workshop for K-12 teachers, training them on a multitude of hands-on, interactive educational modules to help teach classroom lessons on water, soil, wetlands, biodiversity, stormwater, agriculture, environmental science, and more.

Participation in the Water Rocks! Summit is by application; teachers apply and are accepted into the Summit in teams of anywhere from 2 to 6 teachers from their school district. Several districts are also bringing along high school students to be trained as peer mentors. A second Water Rocks! Teacher Summit is being held June 24-25, 2015.

Congratulations to the ten school teams accepted into the June 10-11 Water Rocks! Summit:

  • Roosevelt Middle School/Dubuque
  • Riceville
  • Woodward-Granger
  • I-35 Community Schools
  • Meskwaki Settlement School
  • Midland
  • Graettinger-Terril
  • Marshalltown
  • Ames Middle School
  • Sacred Heart Catholic School/Boone
2014 Water Rocks! Summit participants compete

2014 Water Rocks! Summit participants compete in the Great Poo Pickup Relay Race, learning about the impacts of pet waste on water quality.

In addition to content knowledge building and learning lots of fun tools/techniques/games to take back to their students, the teachers will also be going on a field tour of several different conservation sites tomorrow. They will be visiting Bear Creek, where participants will learn about water quality monitoring, stream restoration efforts, and saturated buffers.  The tour will then proceed to two different central Iowa wetland sites, as well.

Dr. Matt Helmers explains field water quality monitoring equipment to 2014 Water Rocks! Summit participants.

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NOTE: The June 2015 Summit dates are reserved for licensed, practicing K-12 teachers.  If you are a 4-H/Extension educator, SWCD youth outreach coordinator, watershed coordinator, naturalist, municipal/public works education staff, scientist who frequently conducts youth outreach in the classroom, and/or STEM coordinator, the 2015 Water Rocks! Winter Summit, scheduled for December 3, 2015, is designed exclusively for you!

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This cooperative project has been funded in part through the Section 319 of the Clean Water Act. Partners of Water Rocks! include Iowa Department of Natural Resources (United States Environmental Protection Agency), Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa Water Center, Iowa Learning Farms, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, and personal gifts of support.

Ann Staudt

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