By all accounts, the Project WET USA Coordinators had a great time connecting, sharing knowledge and inspiring each other as educators in Greenville, South Carolina; for the 2016 Project WET USA Coordinator’s Conference. Here are some of the highlights:
Opening Night dinner at the Commerce Club: Coordinators with 10+ years of experience gathered for a picture together after Barbara Miller (AR) received her Petey Award. Michelle Rogers (TN) also received a Petey Award this year. Congratulations Barbara and Michelle!
Julie Scanlin was recognized for 20 years with Project WET as Idaho’s coordinator. She plans to work with the new coordinators in Idaho to share Project WET education throughout the state.
The Coordinators had a fun night at SIP Rooftop Bar in downtown Greenville. Coordinators painted silk rounds with a local artist. In years past, Greenville was known as the “textile capital of the world.” They used to say that you could tell what color cloth was being made based on the color of the river each day. Although the water was murky due to recent rainfall, it’s come a long way since then:
Mayor Knox White came to tell us about the renovation of Greenville and the work that he has put into making the city great again. Coordinators took walks downtown throughout the week; one of the favorite places was a scenic bridge that used to be covered by a freeway.
Dennis demonstrated “All the Way to Zero,” an activity that shows how you can consider items’ other uses before throwing them in the trash.
David Wojnowski, Clinical Assistant Professor at Georgia State University came to share his knowledge on Early Childhood Education. He shared his experiences working in African countries and also in the United States.
Publications Manager Megan Regnerus followed David’s presentation with a sneak peek at the Early Childhood Guide that is in the works.
Dennis Clement (OH): Ohio EPA, OEE used Project WET’s Healthy Water, Healthy People Guide to teach and certify Ohio residents as Qualified Data Collectors. This helps organize water data between the EPA and other organizations and schools.
Kerry Schwartz shared an excellent demonstration on the Ground Water Flow Model to show just how ground water actually works. It really got everyone thinking!
The crew headed outside for a Rainfall Simulator demonstration shared by the South Carolina DNR. Everyone learned about soil health, storm water and erosion as they watched a variety of situations that can happen during rainfall on various ground surfaces.
On the final day, Sue Quincy (CT) led an activity that allowed coordinators to role-play as children while they went through the seasons of the year in a Project WET activity that demonstrated the difference between traditional Project WET activities vs. early childhood activities.
In all the Project WET USA Coordinators Conference and Training brought together dedicated educators for educational and fun activities. Everyone is looking forward to next year's conference already!