The Year in Review: DWR Water Education in 2021
Water Education Goes with the Flow in 2021!

We have come a long way since the year began. Most workshops these days feature an online virtual meeting, asynchronous work, and even fun activities that can be done in the comfort of your own living room. Programs that were once offered only in-person can now be completed online, at your own pace. What does this all mean for the future of water education? I'm very hopeful.

Author: Lauren Daniel, Water Education Coordinator, NC DWR

Water Education found a new stride in 2021 as it adapted programs and partnerships to reach communities throughout North Carolina.  We are celebrating all the great achievements from the year as we plan for bigger and better water education opportunities in 2022.  

Full newsletter article can be found here.

Project WET: 

In 2021, about 110 educators completed Project WET workshops offered throughout the year.  We even trained 8 new facilitators to offer the trainings in their host institutions.  The highlight of the year was bringing Rebecca Coppa (NC DEMLR) on board as a co-coordinator for PWET.  With Rebecca's help, we can expand this program to offer more resources and support. To learn more about Project WET North Carolina, visit our website.

NC Stream Watch:

NC Stream Watch has seen more activity this year than ever before.  Community members are able to use this tool to go out and explore the quality and health of their stream by following a simple survey that walks through the stream monitoring process.  Strictly for educational purposes, NC Stream Watch offers teachers and students a tool to learn as well as share their observations.  If you have a chance to explore the statewide NC Stream Watch Map, be sure to check out the areas near you as well as far away. Remember, you can view the latest dashboard and observation surveys by visiting the NC Stream Watch Website.

It's Our Water:

It's Our Water continues to be offered as a 10 hour Criteria I EE Credit course for educators throughout North Carolina.  If you're interested in participating in this online, self-guided module please email to gain log in credentials.  This online module is ideal for 8th grade science teachers as well as anyone interested in learning North Carolina specific water resource management issues and teaching students about these topics.

NC Climate Education Network:

Through virtual "Open Houses", the NC Climate Education Network provided participants a chance to connect with climate experts right here in our state.  Each live virtual event had anywhere from 25-60 participants, and the recordings were watched over 100 times. The Open House format offered an informal space for teachers and other educational leaders to learn more about various topics, ask questions, and connect with additional resources to support student learning.  You can learn more about this network on our NCCEN website. The four open house topics in 2021 included:

NC Climate Education Data Art Contest:

I believe one of the best ways to engage students in science education is through creative expression, art, and design. The NC Climate Education Network has given me the opportunity to do just that through our 2021 Climate Data Art Contest.  We had so many amazing entries from students from elementary through high school!  Take a moment to look through our map to explore the various designs, drawings, and even paintings.  Many thanks to the students and educators who took time to create submissions. There was so much interest in this contest that we decided to let this map and submission form stay open throughout 2022. While you can't enter the contest after December 17, 2021, you can still upload your art to be viewed by the public.  

Link to the Online Map of Climate Data Art

Link to the Online Submission Form

Water Education Coffee Talks:

One of my favorite projects that came out of this year were the Water Education Coffee Talks.  These virtual Teams meetings were offered every other Thursday at 9:00 a.m.  The objective of these Coffee Talks were to connect water educators with personalized support and customized resources.  These Coffee Talks did not feature presentations or guest speakers- just real people connecting with others and sharing ideas to inspire lessons and projects. Want to get updates for an upcoming Coffee Talk? Sign up here. 

Watershed Wisdom: 

Another great partnership resulted in national recognition this year. Working with NC Sea Grant and PBS-NC, we were awarded an Apex Award for Publication Excellence in the area of "Campaigns, Programs and Plans". The Watershed Wisdom Lesson Plan Unit is as much fun to teach as it was to create!  To view the award-winning unit, click here.

A look ahead in 2022:

Water Education Pen Pals: Offering a pen pal program to connect students with their peers in other watersheds and maybe even other portions of the country. What better way to learn about the value of your own watershed by comparing and contrasting observations with someone in a different corner of the Earth? 

NC Stream Watch Leadership Program: We will be inviting water educators from throughout North Carolina to take a leadership role in training and engaging with their local water resources through visual observations and stream side litter pick-ups.  

Interested? If you want to learn more about these programs or ask questions, don't hesitate to reach out: