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Area 4th graders converge for WaterFest 2007

On November 13th and 14th, 377 area fourth graders attended WaterFest at the First United Methodist Church in West Plains. The schools participating were West Plains, Fairview, Richards, Glenwood, Junction Hill, Howell Valley, South Fork, and Faith Assembly Christian School. Students were greeted by a giant crawdad and were taught a song reminding them of how important it is to keep our water clean.

Waterfest is produced collaboratively by University of Missouri Extension (MUE), Missouri State University-West Plains (MSU-WP), Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), and Bryant Watershed Education Project (BWEP).

Each classroom brought with them a banner they had made reflecting their school’s watershed address for a contest. Banners were judged on creativity, originality, and knowledge of their watershed, its features, uses of water, and historical events.

Students attended four sessions throughout the day: Surface Water, Karst, Polluted Run-off, and Soils. Students took part in a wide variety of activities, including sampling macroinvertebrates from a mock stream and then calculating water quality based on what they found in the stream. Students played a game which helped them realize the role of vegetation as a protector of stream water quality. In another hands-on activity students learned the sources of polluted run-off and how to reduce its impact on our creeks and rivers. Each session was correlated to the Missouri Grade Level Expectations (GLE’s).

Assisting the students were 24 Missouri State University-West Plains students, including those enrolled as elementary education students from the Bachelor of Science in Education-Elementary completion program offered by MSU-Springfield's Academic Outreach office at MSU-WP.

waterfest 07 assembly crawdad cheer
The general assembly of Waterfest 2007. BWEP director Lois Reborne leads students in the crawdad cheer.
volunteer glenwood banner
One of the elementary education students at MSU West Plains assists in the surface water lesson. Glenwood School banner.
water lesson volunteer
West Plains elementary students working on drawings of invertebrates MSU West Plains student volunteer.

377 students attended
17 classrooms, representing 8 schools
24 college students

Pre test range 27% to 57%     Average 39%
Post test range 50% to 82%   Average 67%
Gain ranged from  +16 to +49
Average gain +28 percentage points (last year +19)

Teachers ranked the days 4 -outstanding or 3 good

Teacher comments included:
How often do we get to take kids on an educational fieldtrip that allows them to become scientists, conservationists, and stream teams?
fun and rewarding
you do a wonderful job and we appreciate your efforts
keep up the good work
well organized
the kids benefit from the different presenters
loved the crawdad that met us at the door 
excellent, interesting, motivating learning environment,
excellent facility
great day of hands-on learning
very age appropriate activities  
This is great! Awesome!
We need several of these during the school year.
Even better than last year!



Vocabulary Word List

Polluted Runoff Lesson Plan

This activity uses oatmeal to simulate the effects of runoff in our streams.

WaterFest Manual

The Crawdad Person (two thumbs up??)
  pollution exercise
Water pollution exercise- Pass the oatmeal, please!
  howell Valley banner
Howell Valley School banner.
  Howell banner
West Plains Elementary banner of Howell Creek.
  See Waterfest 2006!
  Waterfest is produced by University of Missouri Extension (MUE), Missouri State University-West Plains (MSU-WP), Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), and Bryant Watershed Education Project (BWEP).

cfo logoPartial funding for this program in 2007 was provided by the Coover Regional Grantmaking Program, in partnership with the Community Foundation of the Ozarks.