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The Bay State Children's Water Festival featured a day of interactive sessions designed to expose children to water-related topics
To help educate youth about water and its critical role in sustaining the earth, Xylem Inc. was a platinum level sponsor for the Bay State Children’s Water Festival, which took place June 6, 2013 at Holyoke Community College in Massachusetts. The Water Systems Council, a non-profit organization that works to educate stakeholders, including well owners, community leaders, elected officials and government agencies about the importance of protecting groundwater resources, hosted the festival. Xylem is a member of the council.
The event included a full day of interactive educational sessions that gave 1,500 fifth grade students hands-on exposure to water-related topics, including drinking water, groundwater, watersheds, surface water, water quality and conservation.
“Educating our future leaders about how integral water is to everything we do, is essential to preserving this precious resource,” said Chris Jamieson, vice president Americas, for Xylem’s Applied Water Systems unit and Water Systems Council board member. “This event enabled us to be involved in something that aligns with our mission, vision and values, while challenging our youth to innovate and be smart with water use.”
Activities that festival participants experienced throughout the day included: edible aquifers, which teach children about geologic formations by building aquifers out of ice cream, soda and sprinkles; performances by Grammy Award-winning environmental singer and songwriter Tom Chapin; games, such as Water Wheel of Fortune; bubble-ology in which students are enclosed in large bubbles to learn about the chemical properties of water; and investigating a groundwater simulator. In addition, a real, well-drilling truck was displayed on site to teach kids how wells are built.
Water and natural resource experts from local, state, and national organizations, such as Xylem, led these activities. Xylem’s Applied Water Systems business sent 24 volunteers to the 2013 event, half of whom are from the company’s Auburn, N.Y. location, and half of who are from the Beverly, Mass., facility. The volunteers helped host these activities and mini-sessions for the students of the Holyoke area and surrounding school districts, including Chicopee, Westfield, Wilbraham, Hampden and Webster. The festival is offered at no cost to the participating schools due to the financial support of the Water Systems Council and festival sponsors.