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GPS students take part in 11th Annual Water Festival

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A fourth grade girl collects water in a cup during a relay race in Mesa, AZ.On a sunny Tuesday morning in March, dozens of fourth grade students and their teachers arrived at Superstition Springs Elementary. The students were escorted off the buses to a nearby field, where rows of red tents and volunteers awaited their arrival. This was the day they’d all been looking forward to  – the kickoff of the 11th Annual Water Festival

More than a thousand fourth grade students from Gilbert Public Schools participated in the festival over three days. Students used science and math to learn about the importance of water in the desert and how to conserve it. Trained volunteers from the Town of Gilbert and Arizona Project WET led the students in STEM-based games, experiments, and small group discussions on topics like groundwater, watersheds, the water cycle, and water conservation technology. The entire festival was an interactive experience for the students. The most popular activities were the water relay race, a large dice game, and groundwater demonstrations.

GPS students and their teachers prepared for this event weeks in advance. Teachers received professional development training along with science kits for 10 new lesson plans. While the purpose of the field trip was to increase the students’ understanding of water stewardship, it also exposed them to a wide range of careers in science, technology, engineering, and math. 

A group of fourth grade students watches a groundwater demonstration at the 11th Annual Water Festival.
On the first day of the Water Festival, Gilbert Mayor Brigette Peterson stopped by to tour the field day event and speak with students. She thanked volunteers for their time and support, which allowed GPS students to leave their classrooms and get hands-on experience. 

To read more about what fourth grade students are learning at GPS elementary schools, visit  the Curriculum section of our website!


Written by Kailey Latham, Photos by Jonason Pauley