DOW’s Make a Splash festival gathers over 730 students

Over 730 students attended the Department of Water’s (DOW) 12th Annual Make a Splash with Project WET (Water Education for Teachers) Festival, Thursday, at the Pua Loke Arboretum.

“We are pleased to offer this educational opportunity to Kauai’s fifth graders year after year. It’s something our staff, community, and schools look forward to every September,” said Kirk Saiki, DOW’s manager and chief engineer. “We could not do something like this without the support of our schools, community, volunteers, county and state departments, Board of Water and DOW staff.”

Every year, the DOW invites fifth grade students from around the island to attend the Make a Splash festival. The event gathers parents, students, teachers, government resource agencies, organizations and enthusiasts of all kinds for a common cause: to educate students about water, our most precious resource.

At the festival, students participate in dynamic hands-on activities, games and educational exhibits and learn how this critical natural resource affects water-dependent activities like agriculture, recreation, the local industry and wildlife habitats. Students leave the event with a better perspective on how they can contribute to water’s wise use and protection.

Kauai is currently the only island that organizes this water education festival. However, the DOW has been granted funds from the State Department of Health-Safe Drinking Water Branch to implement the Project WET curriculum in other counties throughout Hawaii.

“We’ve held eight Project WET training workshops throughout the islands during the past two years,” said Kim Tamaoka, DOW’s public relations specialist who manages Kauai’s Project WET program. “We’ve also conducted Make a Splash mini-festivals in Hilo this past year. We hope to continue our efforts to inspire other county water departments to coordinate the Make a Splash festival for their island, because we’ve seen the lasting impact it has made in our community and in our keiki.”

The DOW would like to thank the following supporters of the 12th Annual Make a Splash with Project WET festival: Department of Education; Department of Health – Safe Drinking Water Branch; Department of Land and Natural Resources – Division of Forestry and Wildlife; UH College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (UH-CTAHR) Kauai Agricultural Research Center; Kauai Fire Department; Kauai Police Department; Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr.; City and County of Honolulu – Storm Water Quality Branch; East Kauai & West Kauai Soil and Water Conservation Districts; Kukuiula Development Company; Grove Farm Company Inc.; Aqua Engineers Inc.; Hawaii Rural Water Association; Kapaa High School JROTC; Kauai Board of Water Supply; and DOW staff, retirees and family.

For more information about the Make a Splash with Project WET Festival, please call Kim Tamaoka at 245-5455.

Photos by the Department of Water