Envisioning a world in which “action-oriented education enables every child to understand and value water, ensuring a sustainable future,” Project WET (Water Education for Teachers) is built on the premise that water connects all humankind, is for everyone, must be managed sustainably, and depends on personal responsibility and action.
From developing heavily utilized water resource education materials to offering educator training workshops to organizing community events such as water festivals, Project WET works with people around the world to advocate for the role of water education in solving complex water issues. “Our Earth’s finite but renewable water resources affect the health and well-being of every person on the planet,” Project WET says. “That means we must protect, conserve, and manage the water we have. Water education helps us do that.”
In the U.S., the Project WET network includes state agencies, municipal utilities, zoos and aquariums, faith-based organizations, colleges and universities, and many other organizations with an interest in water and education. Additionally, Project WET has a presence in more than 70 other countries; Project WET materials have been customized, localized, and translated for countries ranging from China to Uganda.
The Project WET team develops their materials with a broad range of educators in mind, from classroom teachers to nature center staff to zookeepers to parents. The program’s educational activities are designed to seamlessly complement existing curricula, with activities fulfilling objectives and educational standards not only in the sciences but other disciplines, from fine arts to health, as well.
In Kentucky, KAEE provides the daily operational activities of Project WET through an innovative partnership with the Kentucky Division of Water (KDOW), which serves as the host institution of Project WET and provides essential funding for the program as well as a limited number of teacher stipends and curriculum guides. In 2019, more than 12 workshops coordinated by KAEE and our facilitator network focused on Project WET activities.
“The Project WET Foundation is an amazing organization that develops curriculum and resources that are invaluable to formal and nonformal educators alike,” says Brittany Wray, KAEE Education Director and Kentucky's state co-coordinator for Project WET. “Project WET activities promote critical-thinking and problem-solving skills that educators are searching for.”
Learn more at projectwet.org.
By Leigh Cocanougher