WASHINGTON – The Water Systems Council will hold its 2015 Great Lakes Children’s Water Festival on May 14, 2015 on the campus of Penn State Erie, the Behrend College, drawing almost 1,700 5th grade students from Pennsylvania, New York and Ohio.
The 2015 Great Lakes Children's Water Festival is one of the largest WSC has ever hosted. During the festival, students will explore drinking water, groundwater, watersheds, surface water, well systems, and water quality and conservation through dynamic and interactive activities.
The festival gives the students a better understanding of their water supply and America's groundwater resources. A record number of 72 classes will be taught by water and natural resource experts from local, state and national organizations.
Local WJET-TV weatherman Tom Atkins will also make a presentation to educate students about the role of water in the weather and weather forecasting.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is a major sponsor of the festival, which is helping the DEP as well as the Departments of Environmental Protection in Ohio and New York to fulfill their conservation and efficiency outreach requirements under the Great Lakes Compact Agreement. DEP Secretary John Quigley is scheduled to participate in the Edible Aquifers activity where students build an aquifer using ice cream, crushed ice, soda and sprinkles. The Edible Aquifers presentation is the most popular activity at the festival.
Additional festival sponsors include the Peter A. Yeager Memorial Foundation and the Water Systems Council, whose members donated more than $50,000 for the event. Those members include A.O. Smith Water Systems; Baker Water Systems; Flexcon Industries; Flomatic Valves; Franklin Electric Co., Inc.; Grundfos Pumps Corp.; Merrill Manufacturing; Milby Co.; Pentair; Preferred Pump; and Xylem, Inc.
These donations underwrite the cost of the festival, which is free to students and participating school districts. Penn State Behrend has donated the use of their campus for the festival. In addition, more than 235 community volunteers are involved in this year's festival.