In addition to basic learning about watersheds and the role of people in protecting water resources, H2O is being designed by science educators to help young students better understand the world around them and inspire them to pursue careers in science, technology, mathematics and engineering.
These are the so-called STEM subjects that have been the center of considerable press attention recently as new statistics reveal U.S. students falling well behind students in other nations in these critical areas of learning.
Many believe this to be among the greatest threats to U.S. economic security and national defense in the years to come.
While the STEM subjects may be traditionally considered “hard,” with proper introduction as students progress through elementary and middle schools, many students are motivated by the challenge and excitement of such studies to follow them through to careers.
H2O addresses a critical need for STEM
Schools are under increasing budget and testing pressures that can limit teacher’s time and flexibility to help students develop critical skills that will allow them to excel in STEM subjects. These are skills such as basic problem-solving, the ability to assemble data and facts, an aptitude for analyzing information, and the capacity to propose solutions and test theories.
Scientists and other professionals have these skills, but such skills must be developed early on for the students of today to become the scientists, engineers, and medical doctors of tomorrow. It is also important to anyone concerned about the world around them and wanting to do something about it.
Building concerned, pro-active and conservation minded citizens is a basic outcome intended from H2O.
* * *
H2O (Headwaters to Ocean) is a cooperative project sponsored by the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University and funding partner, the Ewing Halsell Foundation which supports the project H2O. H2O is an experiential, technology-enhanced education program focused on water, from headwaters to the ocean (http://www.water-texas.org)