Water Rocks! Programs to Continue Outdoors This Fall

Teams will deliver environmental education in safe, socially distanced settings

August 17, 2020, 11:47 am | Liz Ripley

Water Rocks sign.AMES, Iowa – The water quality and natural resources education opportunities offered by Water Rocks! will continue this fall in an outdoor setting.

The leaders of Water Rocks!, based at Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, have determined that all programs will be presented in outdoor settings, which offer the best environment for compliance with both Iowa State University and local school policies for social distancing and COVID-19 risk mitigation.

“We understand that schools across Iowa are struggling to find ways to safely educate students while still providing robust and diverse learning opportunities,” said Ann Staudt, Water Rocks! director with ISU Extension and Outreach. “Water Rocks! has a long history of engaging students with high-energy science-based lessons and we are committed to flexibly working with schools to continue despite their current unusual circumstances. We are eager to bring our environmental content to students in a way that is like bringing a field trip to the school.”

Working outdoors will help ensure compliance with restrictions on school visits and field trips many schools are implementing. Water Rocks! relies on its extensive experience with outdoor programming, garnered from its Conservation Station trailer activities in public venues, to ensure an excellent learning environment for all participants.

The team will provide seating, activity stations, sound amplification equipment and lessons for a new COVID-safe educational experience.

Schools can select from four education modules offered by Water Rocks! beginning Sept. 8, 2020:

  • Natural Resources (Grades K-2)
  • Watershed (Grades 3-8)
  • Wetlands (Grades 3-8)
  • Pollinators (Grades 4-8)

During the fall 2020 semester, these Water Rocks! programs will be provided to schools at no cost, thanks to the generosity of Water Rocks! donors and funding partners. Teachers and administrators interested in scheduling  or learning more about a free Water Rocks! visit to their school should immediately contact Water Rocks! online.

“School districts are experiencing unprecedented levels of uncertainty surrounding this fall semester, and we are committed to working with them to find a suitable way to provide students with excellent learning opportunities under unusual circumstances,” continued Staudt. “I encourage teachers and administrators to call or contact Water Rocks! to lock in a date and get started on coordinating the details as soon as possible.”

Original photo: Water Rocks!

About the Authors: 

Liz Ripley

Iowa Learning Farms and Water Rocks!