Lewis and Clark Community College hosted its first World Water Day educational seminar Thursday, March 22, in the Ahlemeyer Atrium of the Trimpe building here on campus. The free flow open event began at 10:30 am and continued until 2:30 pm while offering free pizza to attendants who participated in the activities taking place at each booth.
6th graders of Maryville Christian School were attending on a field trip with their teacher Mrs. Hasting.
“I really enjoyed eating pizza, viewing the pretty campus, and learning about how water is gathered internationally,” a student replied, seeming eager to comment when asked what were their favorite things about the seminar. The class estimated that they had eaten nearly seventy pieces of pizza.
As part of the efforts of the expansion the Swarovski Water schools, students from C.A. Hennings Elementary School in Troy, Il, and Alton High School each participated by providing booths at which attendants learned about a myriad of issues surrounding water sources locally and internationally.
A few of the goals of this event were to: give the opportunity for attendants to see how small invertebrate bugs are used to learn about stream health, learn how to map their watershed and understand their role in water pollution, view artwork and letters about water issues from students around the globe, and learn about the ways in which other countries access and treat their water.
Swarovski has been working internationally in schools and communities to foster water stewards and leaders in sustainable development since the year 2000. Swarovski Waterschool began working in two new countries in 2016 and the United States of America was one of them.
The National Great Rivers Research and Education Center is currently the first partner with Swarovski in North America and is helping to pave the way for a successful water school project. The goal of the program is to develop a curriculum that helps connect Mississippi River communities to the river through specific education that is responsive to the needs and circumstances of local communities.
The program has already reached more than 200 students and nearly ten schools throughout the Metro-East area and as it progresses and gains traction its ecological impact will certainly be more noticeable.
Natalie Maroni, who has worked with NGRREC for six years as the Director of Environmental Education and Citizen Science, was pivotal in helping to orchestrate and host the event. A Denison graduate, and native of North Carolina, Maroni has a BA in science, focusing on biology, a Masters in biology with a focus on wildlife conservation, and has spent time doing extensive research on turtles.
“More people showed up than anticipated, so I am very excited!” Maroni exclaimed when asked about the success and impact of the program.