Water Explorer - sustainability for young people
How do you get thousands of young leaders to learn about the value of water in a fun, engaging way? And while they’re at it, save water too?
Water Explorer, Global Action Plan’s award-winning programme for students aged 8-14, does exactly that.
Using our free online resources on the Water Explorer website, thousands of schools from around the world have been taking part in water-saving challenges, such as:
- carrying out school water audits
- sharing water-saving advice with teams from other countries around the world
- organising events like sustainable fashion shows in their communities
- growing veg in the school garden and irrigating it from a water butt.
In doing this they are not only taking part in activities that are helping to save water, but learning life skills as well – good for them, good for the planet too.
Water Explorer around the world
So far more than 3,400 schools from 12 countries have registered for the programme, with around 180,000 students taking part. They range from South Africa to Turkey and several EU states, with activities customised to suit different ages and different geographical locations.
Between them they’ve saved more than 7 million m3 of water over 4 years - that’s 3,000 Olympic sized swimming pools worth of water.
Global Action Plan staff play a hands-on role in the project too. In 2018, for example, we teamed up with a Leicestershire charity for a workshop with young travellers aged 6-11, some with limited access to formal education.
The Water Explorer team introduced them to simple concepts such as what a litre of water looks like, and helped them understand how much water we use in our daily activities through a “How Many Litres” game.
The children got creative and decorated water footprints as well as making Water Explorer badges. When one of them was asked how he enjoyed the session, he said: “It’s like school, but I like it!”
What Water Explorer offers
1) A flexible programme
Whether you are a small club or hoping to run a whole school project, Water Explorer can be adapted to best fit your learning objectives.
You can dip in at any point throughout the year and for the length of time that suits you. All of the Challenges are fully resourced and student-led, so the programme requires very little planning.
However you choose to dip in to Water Explorer, you will gain:
- Access to hundreds of lesson-ready resources
- The chance to win prizes and awards that recognise students’ achievements
- The opportunity for children to immerse themselves in a global issue.
2) An international focus
With thousands of enthusiastic teams spanning 12 countries, Water Explorer gives students the opportunity to link with their fellow Water Explorers across oceans on an international scale. It's an innovative way to enthuse future generations to be global citizens, acting locally and thinking globally.
3) In the United Kingdom
Eco-clubs are welcome to delve into our water saving Missions and join our Water Explorer community. For groups with a thirst for science, Water Explorer challenges can be used as a basis for a CREST Bronze Award.
As avid explorers, Scouts, Brownies, Cubs and Guides groups are also invited to get involved to earn a new Water Explorer badge.
Water Explorer in numbers
The Water Explorer teams have achieved amazing things over the course of the programme.
- 3,400 teams are registered with Water Explorer
- Water Explorer has touched the hearts and minds of 180,000 young people worldwide
- Water Explorers have engaged with their communities 25 million times
- Water Explorers have saved 7.7 million cubic metres of water and 22 million kg of carbon dioxide
All these numbers tell a story. For example, the CEIP Mata Linares team from Spain approached the local authority and successfully managed to get a new waste oil container added to the recycling facilities. Meanwhile our Wyebank Water Warriors from South Africa and the Water Masters from Ireland have both been awarded the internationally acclaimed WAF Youth award.
These are just a few examples of the thousands of Water Explorer teams around the world that are using creative ideas to reduce their water footprint and enable others in their community to do the same.