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HCC to host first Bay State Children's Water Festival June 6

May 29, 2013 |

HOLYOKE – The Holyoke Community College (HCC) campus will be literally streaming with nearly 1,500 fifth graders June 6 as they participate in the first Bay State Children's Water Festival. Sixty-five classes of fifth graders from schools in Holyoke, Chicopee, Westfield, Wilbraham, Hampden, and Webster will be on campus for the day-long festivities, plus more than 200 volunteers helping to educate them about the importance of water through a multitude of dynamic activities and interactive demonstrations. "Community is our middle name, so we are pleased to offer this educational opportunity for the students of Holyoke and the surrounding school districts," Bill Messner, president at HCC, said. "Not only does this introduce area children to the college campus, the festival fits right in line with our emphasis on STEM (Science, technology, engineering and math) education." The 2013 Children's Water Festival is modeled after the internationally acclaimed Children's Groundwater Festival, which started in Nebraska in 1988. At the festival, students learn about drinking water, groundwater, watersheds, surface water, and water quality through presentations and activities led by water and natural resource experts from local, state, and national organizations. Activities will take place inside college classrooms and outdoors under large tents from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. One of the most popular activities is the Edible Aquifer, which teaches children about geologic formations as they build their own aquifer out of ice cream, soda and sprinkles. Another is the "Bubble-ology" station, where students are encased in large bubbles. Children will also get to build their own rain sticks, play games such as Scoop the Poop and Water Wheel of Fortune, visit the Water Fortune Teller, and investigate a groundwater simulator, a stream table, and the Big Rig, a real, well-drilling truck. All students will attend performances by Grammy Award winning environmental singer and songwriter Tom Chapin. The annual, traveling festival is organized by the Water Systems Council, a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., focused on education about groundwater protection. The festival is free to participating schools thanks to its many sponsors. For more information, contact Margaret Martens, program director, Water Systems Council, at 202-625-4387.

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