Crockett fourth graders learned about water conservation at Aquarena Springs. All photos by Denise Hamm.
Crockett Elementary School fourth graders have been learning the principles of water conservation. Earlier this school year, Crockett received an award from the A+ Federal Credit Union’s Education Foundation for a project called “Aquifer in a Cup.” Teaching manuals, CDs, and testing kits were purchased for each fourth grade class with the grant money.
The testing kits were used to test local water, including the water from the San Marcos River and the water at Crockett Elementary School. The class found bacteria in the river water, but found that the school’s water was clean.
In addition to this program, the City of San Marcos purchased a special water conservation curriculum, “Major Rivers,” which was designed for fourth grade students and their teachers. Major Rivers is the cartoon host of the series who travels with his horse Aquifer and shares their discoveries. The program was originally developed by the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) in 1989. In addition to science, the program also stresses math, language arts and social studies. It was updated in 2008.
Major Rivers and his trusty companion Aquifer tell classes about the importance of water in Texas and around the world, explaining the water cycle and water planning for the Texas water supply. The class also learned about watersheds, river basins, water treatment and water distribution. The course features ideas on how to use water efficiently.
Of course, no water conservation program would be complete without a trip to Aquarena Springs, which the fourth graders enjoyed very much.
City of San Marcos Conservation Coordinator Jan Klein made presentations to the fourth grade classes on the water usage rates in the state of Texas and in the city of San Marcos. The students found, from Klein’s information, that while San Marcos uses less water than the state average, improvements could be made.
Klein suggested ways in which students could help conserve water, such as taking short showers instead of baths. Each student was given a water conservation bag to take home that included a leak detection kit, a low-flow shower head, a kitchen sink aerator and two bathroom sink aerators.
Fourth grader Alexis Zapata observes her aquifer in a cup.
Linda Lopez’s class investigates its conservation packets.
Jan Klein, San Marcos Conservation Coordinator, talks with fourth graders.
The water test kit with (inset) Major Rivers and his trusty horse Aquifer.
The water at Crockett Elementary School tests clean.