Deploying everything from light shows to cartoon characters, last month’s Clean and Conserve China Launch Festival reached nearly 100 students from three Shanghai primary schools. The festival featured four learning stations led by 20 newly trained Ecolab employees and local community educators. Project WET activities at the stations helped kids learn about the Shanghai watershed, principles of water conservation and the importance of proper handwashing.
At the festival, students were treated to an immersive experience, with light and music designed to simulate being in a blue ocean. Starting with two engaging warm-up activities, the students learned about the percentage of water on Earth as well as the movement of water through the Shanghai watershed and how individual decisions affect the health of this watershed. Following the warm-ups, students divided into smaller groups to visit the learning stations.
Each student received a bookmark featuring “Uncle WET”, a friendly cartoon character developed by Ecolab, with enough space on the back for students to earn stamps at each station. Every student who completed the activities and got the stamps received a gift from Ecolab for their work.
The festival followed a day of training for the Ecolab volunteers and educators. Led by Project WET Senior Vice President John Etgen, the participants learned how to use the interactive activities to teach about water conservation and hygiene. The training itself was a culmination of several months of collaboration between Project WET and Ecolab China to customize and translate the Clean and Conserve materials for the Chinese market. All of the books—an activity guide for educators, a children’s activity booklet, a storybook for young children and a science project guide for older students—are now available in Mandarin via the Clean and Conserve web page, free of charge.
Following the event, 92 percent of Ecolab employee volunteers who answered a volunteer satisfaction survey reported feeling that they were “better” and “happier” employees because they were able to volunteer. The same percentage also expressed interest in training other employees to use the Clean and Conserve program. Several already had plans to share the materials with others outside Ecolab as well.
“I will be bringing it to my own child,” one employee reported. Another employee had even larger ideas: “I will tell my family, friends and colleagues the importance of keeping the water clean, saving water and keeping healthy.”
China is one of four target markets launching the Clean and Conserve Education Program, which is designed to reach two million people with interactive water conservation and hygiene education by the end of 2017. All materials in the program are available for download and use at no charge. To date, translations and customizations of all materials have been completed in English, Mandarin and Spanish for Mexico. The Activity Guide for Educators is also available in Portuguese for Brazil and French for Canada. German-language customization is underway.
The Project WET Foundation's partnership with Ecolab is part of Ecolab's Solutions for Life program, which enhances the company’s work to conserve water and improve hygiene around the world through partnerships with leading NGOs, global philanthropy and employee volunteerism.
View a video about the event below: