Check Out What Students, Teachers and Sponsors are Saying!

Students
Teachers
Sponsors/In-kind Supporters

Students (unedited, from their wikis)

Climate

Guess what in the past four days we got the amount of rain that New Mexico gets every year!!!

Agriculture

Few days ago some people who worked in 4H came. They taught us about the different types of irrigation. There are three types. One is flood were large amounts of water is poored down rows. The flood irrigation is used for veggies. The next type is drip used for vines. Then there is sprinkler used for trees. That is the kinds of irrigation. We did an activity with the different types of irrigation.

World’s Water

We had a guest speaker on Tuesday. The guest speaker told us how developing countries get their water. I got to see Aileen hold a gallon of water on her head. I am glad that I did not have to, because it looked like it hurt. Did you know that there are 6.6 billion people in the world?

Water Cycle

When rain hits the ground at our school it would hit artificial grass, wood chips, or asphalt. If it hits the asphalt or artificial grass it will run off into the Rio Grande. If it hits the woodchips it will soak in. The temperature has to be hot enough to evaporate the water. When the water gets up to the sky it has to be cold enough to rain. That is how the weather relates to the water cycle.

Ecosystem, Trash

The climate in our area is very hot, dry, and we don’t get a lot of precipitation. The river I will be telling you about is the Rio Grande. No, I haven’t been to the Rio. My favorite animal that lives there is the garter snake. Its diet is fish, frogs, toads, and lizards. My favorite plant that lives there is the six weeks grama. It is thirty cm tall and twenty five mm long. Sadly those animals and plants might not be there any more. Last year workers pulled out 26,000 cubic yards of trash. That would fill seven class rooms,we would be able to fill each class room to the ceiling about 13 times.

Dog Waste, Personal Responsibility

One thing you must know is you have a water shed every were. Some examples are, the park, your back yard, our problem in this time is pollution. YOU MUST PICK UP AFTER YOURSELF!!!!!!!! When people don’t pick up their trash or their dogs you know poop it goes in are water shed. First it builds up and then it rains. After that it goes in the arroyos then it gets washed down in our river or yours and then you drink it. GROSS!! I mean come on…We should recycle and take our trash to the dump. Take care of you community. Anything people do to help makes a difference.

Watershed, Aquifer, Dog Waste

There is a few things that I have learned from a representative that came from Southern Sandoval County Arroyo Flood Control Authority (SSCAFCA). SSCAFCA is a independent corporate that improves maintain and operate flood and storm water control facilities.  He came to our school and taught us about the Rio Grande.  The aquifer is an underground layer of porous rock, containing water and can flow to the river/streams. A porous is tiny opening for absorbing or discharging fluids. A watershed is a area that drains to a water body. A water body is an Arroyo, River ,Lake or Ocean. Water can become polluted when it rains and touches trash, oil ,dogpoop ,soil or chemicals. Dogpoop is bacteria so imagine when it drains into the pipes and goes into the arroyo there will be bacteria and pollution that will soon go into our rivers. We also have rain pipes cause if there’s water on the street’s it goes down into the water pipes and into the Arroyo. In order to help keep our water clean we have to keep our selves and pets clean. These pictures should help you visualized what I learned.The Rio Grandestartes in coloradoand ends in Golf of Mexico.

Water Conservation

We use alot of water every day.  A littel to much water. 1 family uses alot of water every day. Every time you have a shower you use about 1000 leaters depending on how long your shower is. If you flush the tolit once you use about 30 leaters. If you leave the water running while brushing your teeth you use 10-30 leaters of water. When you wash your dishes depending if you are useing a dish washer or you are hand washing if you are using a dish washer you are using 80-100 leaters. If your hand washing you are using 100 leaters if you fill your sink all the way up. My estimation of how much water my family uses a week is a toatal of 4160…My family uses alot of water every day

Teachers

Mastery of Science Content

Allison Stansbury of Holy Ghost Catholic School (Albuquerque, NM):

I have learned that students can be held to extremely high standards of learning – and that the application of that learning prepares them to be environmentally aware future citizens.

Meeting Standards

Rochelle Killett of Crimson Point Elementary (Kuna, ID):

For years I’ve tried to explain to children how important water is to humans and how it has driven the course of history.  Your program with the hands-on experience helps make it real for kids and greatly enriches the understanding of Idaho’s history.

Pen Pals/Technology

Heidi Werling of Puesta del Sol (Rio Rancho, NM):

My students love being able to communicate with other fifth graders.  It was gratifying to witness their excitement and sense of accomplishment when they clicked ‘save’ on their first wiki entry. Because we are a Title 1 school, our students do not always have the advantage of living in technology-rich home environments.  RiverXchange has given all of my students exposure to technology that can enrich lives and support current and future learning.

Hands-on Science, Teacher Professional Development

Carol Brickler, Turquoise Trail Charter (Santa Fe):

We never “get to” or get through all of the units in our excellent science textbook, or have time for experiments and hands on activities, so a lot of the science curriculum is let go as the year passes.  I look to RiverXchange as a specific, planned, set aside time for in depth science learning and activities.  Also because you offer experts in areas in which I am not an expert. These speakers demonstrate to students what scientists do.  You make Science local in our real world.  We loved the opportunity to participate in Service Learning in the San Isidro Park planting and the professional development opportunity for teachers to gain science knowledge.  And last, RiverXchange is an opportunity to integrate learning with technology, which all teachers are supposed to be doing.

Multi-discplinary Curriculum

Azizah Sumner, John Baker Elementary (Albuquerque):

I see this project as a great opportunity to address many areas in my curriculum at once–social studies, science, writing, and technology.  RiverXchange also seemed like a good way to expose students to water issues they need to be aware of to be informed, responsible citizens.  RiverXchange closely aligns with my teaching goals…I can frequently reference RiverXchange in various lessons, which makes the lesson more meaningful for the students.

Guest Speakers

Colleen Ruiz, Annunciation Catholic School (Albuquerque):

Community relationships are very important to our school.  We are very excited about working with experts in the field who can teach us valuable lessons and provide career opportunity information.  Water is one of our most valuable resources.

Matt McCracken, North Star Elementary (Albuquerque):

I think the RiverX program is an amazing program that has invaluable rewards for the students and citizens of New Mexico. The most valuable component of the program is having real life water experts and stakeholders visit our classrooms. The presenters provide great information to the students about all water related topics, but more importantly they have passion for the subject, and that passion is contagious among the students.

I think that while learning specific vocabulary and concepts related to water are important, I think the impression we leave on them about water a scarce and valuable resource is infinitely critical. I would love it at the end of the year if students remembered what watersheds are, what a delta is, and so on; but more importantly I want them to leave with the deep rooted idea that water is valuable, water is sacred, and here in New Mexico, water is scarce. Our future generation of citizens need to be the stewards of water education, rights, and uses.

From the teacher side of things, the RiverX protocol of maintaining a website is a huge motivator for my students. The program is genius in that it gets get to share what they’ve learned by summarizing those thoughts on an online website. Giving the students the time and motivation to reflect on what they’ve learned is invaluable as a tool to improve science content learning and thier skills in writing as well. They love the idea of updating and maintaining their own personal website. It is that motivation that encourages them to write on their wikis with voice and passion. They love meeting water people. Especially Ben Z, he’s such a cool guy!

Sponsors and In-kind Supporters

Jim Lafley, Massachusetts Dept. of Conservation and Recreation (classroom guest speaker):

RiverXchange offers a great opportunity to carry out my outreach objectives while working with highly motivated teachers.  RiverXchange enabled the students to be more involved in learning than other projects I have implemented and seen. Students had to digest what they learned and re-tell that learning to someone else.  This forced them to take ownership of the information and experiences.  Also, the variety of the activities appealed to different student learning styles.  Students had to research, do hands-on activities and learn to communicate.  There was some aspect that appealed to every student.

Vernon Hershberger, University of New Mexico and Mid Rio Grande Stormwater Quality Team Chair (sponsor):

RiverXchange provides a unique and effective way to educate students on stormwater issues and watershed effects on the Rio Grande.  The MRGSQT wants students and the public to be educated on what we all can do to help ‘Keep the Rio Grand!’ – our motto.  The interactive format allows students to discover shared water quality issues as well as how the Middle Rio Grande’s semi-arid watershed varies from those in other parts of the United States, Canada and even Europe.

Trevor Alsop, SSCAFCA (sponsor):

We chose RiverXchange as our major youth-based outreach project because it closely aligns with SSCAFCA’s mission of educating the public about watershed management, which includes flood control, stormwater pollution, water conservation and environmental protection.  When it comes to learning about the environment, I think the most effective learning takes place when people have to communicate, work together and actually get their hands dirty.

Steve Glass, Bernalillo County Public Works (guest speaker):

RiverXchange provides unparalleled opportunities to educate school-aged children, who carry the environmental stewardship message home to their families.  Presenting to school-aged children provides an excellent opportunity to craft a message that is concise and engaging, contributing to improved communication of that message to all age groups.

Marian Wrage, City of Rio Rancho (guest speaker and field trip partner):

With the RiverXchange kids, we are able to go into more depth about water resource issues, because they have already been studying the river, and we’re able to refer to concepts they already know.

Colleen Langan, Bernalillo County Open Space (field trip partner):

RiverXchange helps students get outdoors and make real connections to their environment.  It also builds on knowledge many students gained as fourth graders if they attended the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Children’s Water Festival.  This extended field experience in the fifth grade allows student to have greater understanding and interest in water issues, which is vital for our community living sustainably in an arid environment.

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