McPherson County Childrens Water Festival

Established 2002

General Information: 

School based, 600 participants 1 county.

Next Celebration Date: 
October 20, 2009

McPherson College Campus

VIP tour available?: 
Yes
Organizer(s): 

Carla Pearson
Chairperson
carlap@mcpbpu.com
(620) 245-2530

Festival Activities: 

Each student sees 7 of the following demonstrations. Each demonstration is 25 minutes long
Edible Aquifer, No Water Off A Ducks Back, Gooey Garbage, All the Water In The World, Well in a Cup, Jeopardy, Water Wheel of Fortune, Enviroscape, Streambank Stabilization Trailer, Water Conservation, Incredible Journey, Kitchen Chemistry, Exhibit Hall. In addition, every student sees the Recylanator show. Lunch is provided for each student.

Volunteers and presenters are community members, as well as industry and state water agency representatives.

Detailed Festival Information: 

Prior to 2002, a mini water festival (approximately 2 hours in length) was presented to third graders in the City of McPherson at the local Community Building. The event was put on by the local Wellhead Protection Committee under the direction of the local health department. Due to budget and manpower limitations, the local water utility was approached about the possibility of taking over the responsibility of presenting a water education event. The Childrens Water Festival works under the Board of Public Utilities.

Our first success was to plan, organize and execute an event of this type from the ground up. Once we got past the first year we knew our efforts were appreciated and a benefit to the students and the community.

Successes sometimes are as small as being able to confirm presenters and volunteers. The greatest success our committee has enjoyed seeing is from students who have attended the
Festival in previous years talk about the importance of protecting the natural resource. We have heard from parents and teachers about students talking of the importance of protecting the water supply and using conservation measures they have learned at the Festival.

School district administration can be one of the biggest challenges. Teachers are totally supportive of the event but sometimes detailed information needs to be provided to administration before authorization can be given for classes to attend.

Logistics. Securing a facility that has the accommodations needed for this type of event is our biggest challenge. Coordinating a time to schedule the event that will work with the host facility as well as the schools attending can be a challenge as well.

Up until the fall of 2005, we were fortunate to avoid any type of medical emergency during the Festival. In 2005 we encountered a student who went into insulin shock and a student who fell and required an ambulance to transport. We were fortunate to have an EMT working in one of the classes and our host facility (McPherson College) also had medical personnel available. We have learned to have a better medical plan in place before the event!

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