STEM Education is Key to Understanding Connections Between People, Watersheds and Texas’ Economy
Ensuring adequate supplies of clean water for Texas’ economic growth, agriculture, and environment will be the defining natural resource issue of the 21st Century. Nowhere is this challenge more acute than South and Central Texas. But the public lacks understanding of watersheds and the interconnections between people who live in a watershed, their water usage and the health of headwater springs, streams, rivers, bays, estuaries and the ocean. Well-informed citizens are needed to assure that future decisions affecting water use and watersheds are sound and sustain Texans and the Texas economy. H2O will help meet this challenge in an unprecedented effort to engage young Texans in a learning process that will prepare them to be informed and constructive participants in future decisions as citizens, voters, and water users.
H2O is an inquiry-based STEM environmental educational experience that uses advanced digital interactive learning opportunities designed around the theme of “Headwaters to Ocean” as well as hands-on outdoor education opportunities designed to complement and leverage existing programs.
Features include innovative curricula, materials, and delivery methods that will use emerging web-based and mobile technologies coupled with time-tested hands-on in-the-watershed experiences for participants in a networked array of schools and education organizations.
Develop programs that foster sound thinking and use new technologies to maintain the attention of today’s students and engage enough people of appropriate ages to ensure Texas’ citizens will make informed choices.
Build upon, link and network successful and progressive educational programs, schools, projects and organizations that can lend to watershed education throughout the project area.
Create outdoor opportunities that further watershed education and add value to existing programs through hands-on field experiences and application of new mobile technologies to aid learning.
Develop and fund technology-based watershed discovery centers that will house advanced educational facilities to uniquely demonstrate the linkages between people and the watershed, from headwater to ocean.