“Water justice. It’s about fairness,” a 4th grader explained to me. “There’s enough water in the world for everyone to have clean water. Even the animals! Yet some people have access to more water than they need, and others don’t have access to clean water at all!”
Today, Mirowitz students learned about their role in making sure we understand the local and global impact humans have on water. For instance, they learned that due to the salt we use to melt snow, the River Des Peres became saltier than the ocean last year.
Throughout the day (and all week long,) students engaged in STEAM activities that involved water engineering. They learned how architecture can prevent floods, how to map for wells, and how to build water pumps with simple circuits. They learned the Ph of healthy drinking water and how filtration systems can make dirty water clean enough for consumption. They engineered drip irrigation to bring water to arid lands.
They heard from a survivor of Hurricane Maria about how it feels to live without access to clean water. They learned about local water sources from Earthways and Missouri Stream Team. They engaged in tzedakah projects to help villages in Africa where residents need access to clean water. They danced “Mayim,” an Israeli folk dance about water.
STEAM allows children to solve real world problems through the integration of science, technology, engineering, art and math. It fits so nicely with Mirowitz’s constructivist philosophy because it engages students in experience-based inquiry and problem solving. Students learn by doing. They are working, and their teachers are the coaches and facilitators, lending encouragement, asking questions and pushing them forward.
On top of all that, it’s intellectually and creatively stimulating… and it’s just plain FUN!
Take a few minutes watch this photo montage of the experience your kids had today.