It’s a busy Friday afternoon at Soos Creek Elementary. Students whisper to each other as they pass through the hall and shout as they run around the playground. And in Ms. Brown’s sixth grade classroom, everyone is shuffling in their chairs to get a better view of the person that just walked into their classroom pushing a cart full of dirt, funnels, stop watches and graduated cylinders.
That person is Mx. Dandy, and they are visiting Ms. Brown’s sixth grade classroom to deliver a hands-on water conservation program on behalf of Seattle Public Utilities’ regional water conservation program—the Saving Water Partnership.
All those science supplies come in handy as Mx. Dandy leads an enthusiastic class through experiments that test how water travels through different types of soil— hypothesis are made, trials are conducted, data is recorded, desks get a little muddy. By the end of the program all the desks have been wiped down and the students have collected enough data to see firsthand how adding compost to soil can improve the water efficiency of our lawns and gardens.
Educators like Mx. Dandy bring the science and concepts behind water conservation alive for students through hands on activities on the water cycle, the life cycle of salmon, decomposers, and more.
It’s a tough but fun job. Mx. Dandy wouldn’t have it any other way, they first caught the environmental education bug in college after volunteering at a local elementary school as part of an ecology class. They’ve been working with young people ever since. “My favorite part of being in the classroom is the joy. The students get so excited that we are doing a science lesson together. These lessons are creating communities of young people who are empowered to saved water.”
It seems that students and teachers agree that the experience is pretty great. Demand for these programs have grown every year since it started 9 years ago. Mx. Dandy and all the other educators on our team that are doing their part help all of us preserve our water resources for the next generation.