Wacky Water Workshop Day 1

The Godbold Center housed both nights of the Clay County 4-H Water Workshop. On the first night, youth came in, picked up clipboards, and were given a quick welcome and introduction to the first activity. Youth carefully went through each ingredient of an extensive “make-your-own-taco bar” trying to guess how much water was used to produce each taco fixing. Everyone (including adults and leaders!) highly underestimated the amount of water used to produce each! After Ms. Anne Elise, the Clay County 4-H STEM Extension Agent, gave a couple hints and examples, the youth were amazed at the high volumes needed, but corrected their guesses to come really close to the actual amounts. The youth then made their tacos, reflected, ate, and wasted VERY little! Logan, a member of the Techblazers 4-H Club, introduced our first speaker, Dr. Chris Martinez, a professor at in the Center for Landscape Conservation and Ecology at the University of Florida. Dr. Martinez delivered a fun and wet activity! The kids loved “letting it rain”!

Youth worked in groups to create urban landscapes and demonstrate urban water transport under a variety of conditions. The youth enjoyed using a diversity of materials to learn about, runoff, infiltration, green development technologies, and groundwater. This learning-by-doing approach motivates higher order thinking in youth and helps them grasp and retain the concepts.

After Dr. Martinez’s exciting water experiments, Ms. Anne Elise taught the youth a little about how lakes are formed and how they stay full with water. She gave a brief lesson and youth got into groups of three. They were instructed to invent their own lake and develop a story about how their own lake was made. Their stories ranged from meteor formations, to glacial formation, to limestone sink holes, to man-made lakes.  They were given pans and Playdough to recreate their imagined lake. Finally, youth practiced measuring their lake’s dimensions with a ruler, recorded results, and did a brief oral presentation to the class about the formation, size, and use of their lakes.

The youth reported that they have a better understanding of water conservation and are more inclined to participate in more water related programs and activities, which is great because on Thursday was Day 2 of the Water Workshop!

To participate in more workshops like this or to learn more about the Clay County 4-H program, visit http://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/clay/ or email Anne Elise Creamer at ac864@ufl.edu