The Ohio Water Education Program (OWEP) is a collaborative effort to provide a comprehensive water education program for Ohio. Its mission is to promote the wise use and protection of Ohio’s water, one of our most critical and remarkable natural resources. OWEP is sponsored by the Water Management Association of Ohio/Water Resources Foundation of Ohio, The Ohio State University Water Resources Center, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. OWEP provides state sponsorship for the Project WET program.
Project WET is a national, nonprofit, water education program for educators and students in grades K-12. Its goal is to facilitate and promote awareness, appreciation, knowledge, and stewardship of water resources. Classroom-ready teaching aids have been developed and used in state-sponsored Project WET programs.
The Project WET Curriculum and Activity Guide is a collection of innovative, hands-on activities incorporating a variety of formats, including large and small group learning, whole-body activities, laboratory investigations, discussion of local and global topics, and involvement in community service projects. The activities were developed, field-tested, and reviewed by hundreds of educators and resource managers around the country.
The Guide is available to all formal and non-formal educators through state-sponsored Project WET workshops. Classroom teachers, park naturalists, environmental education specialists, and other educators can adapt and integrate these activities to satisfy the needs of their curriculum, setting, time frame, and audience. Activities cut across many disciplines in the study of water: chemistry and physics, life science, earth systems, natural resources management, history, and culture. To find out more about the Guide and other educational resources available from Project WET USA, please see their website: www.projectwet.org or www.projectwetusa.org.
Ohio Project WET
The backbone of Ohio's Project WET program is the network of volunteer facilitators. These facilitators complete an intensive two-day workshop prior to being certified by the program’s state coordinator. Facilitators then conduct six-hour educator workshops locally, teaching educators how to use the Project WET Curriculum and Activity Guide. Completing one of these workshops is the only way to get the Guide. Those interested in becoming facilitators should contact the Project WET state coordinator.
Ohio's program began in 1995 and, during the first three years, certified approximately 300 facilitators. Since then, the goal has been to certify 30 additional facilitators each year, to replace those who become inactive, and to keep the program expanding. Facilitators come from many institutions: elementary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, soil and water conservation districts, parks, outdoor education centers, zoos, youth groups, camps, environmental organizations, museums, and government agencies.
Educator workshops are scheduled locally, and are conducted throughout the year. Ohio’s volunteer facilitators conduct an average of 40 workshops annually, distributing the Guide to nearly 700 educators. Those interested in participating in an Educator Workshop and obtaining the Project WET Curriculum and Activity Guide should look for currently scheduled workshops at the OWEP website at www.dnr.state.oh.us/water/educate/owep/workshops.htm. If no convenient workshops are currently scheduled, contact the state coordinator or a local facilitator (listed on the website at www.dnr.state.oh.us/water/educate/owep/cocntacs/contmain.htm).
Ohio’s Project WET, Project WILD, Project Learning Tree, and Healthy Water, Healthy People now have a new searchable website for correlations of their activities to the new Ohio K-12 Science Academic Content Standards, which can be found at www.dnr.state.oh.us/education/correlations.
Education-Related Internet Links
Internet links to many education-related sites can be found on the OWEP website at www.dnr.state.oh/water/educate/owep. Categories include classroom water education resources, science education and environmental education resources, government resources, on-line classrooms, and water-related associations and foundations.
Water-Related Education Resources for Loan
OWEP maintains a list of Enviroscape and Ground Water Flow models available for loan to Ohio educators, and provides information on how to obtain them. This list is on the OWEP website, or can be provided by one of the co-coordinators. Organizations that have such resources may contact one of the co-coordinators, either directly or through the website.