How I Use Project WET: Conducting Wetland Education in a Marsh and On the Move

Children explore wetlands at Oak Hammock Marsh in Manitoba, CanadaChildren explore wetlands at Oak Hammock Marsh in Manitoba, Canada The Canadian Water Resources Association (CWRA) and its network of Project WET Canada members reach tens of thousands of Canadian children each year. Some of those kids learn about water in their classrooms, but others get a little closer to the subject—or benefit when the subject comes directly to them. Project WET Manitoba Coordinator Nathalie Bays is the manager of Interpretive Centre Operations at Oak Hammock Marsh, a wetland located about 12 miles north of Manitoba’s capital, Winnipeg.

The Oak Hammock Marsh Interpretive Centre, a joint project of the Province and Ducks Unlimited Canada, features interactive exhibits that show why wetlands are important and what kinds of wildlife make wetlands their home, while exploring broader topics like migration, science and research.

In a recent issue of WaterNews, the official magazine of the CWRA, Nathalie explained how her program is not only reaching kids who come to Oak Hammock Marsh but also those whose schools cannot make the trip for reasons of time, distance or money:

Children learn about water scarcity and history using the Long Haul activityChildren learn about water scarcity and history using the Long Haul activity The Oak Hammock Marsh Interpretive Centre has delivered Project WET activities to over 10,000 youth of all ages. The interactive nature of the experiments and activities has been a hit with the kids. Three of the activities most enjoyed by the students have been “Incredible Journey”, “Macroinvertebrate Mayhem” and “Sum of the Parts”.

Project WET’s popularity with teachers is also due to the clear fit with the Manitoba Science Curriculum: (Grade 1, Daily and Seasonal Changes, Grade 2: Properties of Solids, Liquids and Gases; Grade 5: Weather and Grade 8: Water System) to name a few.

Project WET activities are delivered not only at the Oak Hammock Interpretive Centre but also in communities across Manitoba through the Centre’s travelling Wetland Ecovan. The Ecovan provides outreach environmental education programs to schools that would not otherwise be able to have their classes travel to the Oak Hammock Marsh Interpretive Centre.

The Wetland Ecovan outreach program has permitted the Centre to deliver WET activities in over 50 communities across Manitoba as well as in northwestern Ontario and in southeastern Saskatchewan.

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