1,000 students learn about precious water at 5th Annual 'Water Festival'

HOUGHTON — Water is our most precious natural resource and students from all over the Western U.P. took time today to celebrate and learn more about it.

There’s no place on Earth will as much fresh water as the Great Lakes, which makes Michigan Tech’s Great Lakes Research Center the ideal place to learn about it. 1,000 students from 13 regional schools took part in the 5th Annual Water Festival, coordinated by the Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative.

Michigan Tech’s Center for Science & Environmental Outreach Director and Leadership Team member for the Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative Joan Chadde said, “We can’t live without water, not more than three days, and we are surrounded by the Great Lakes, which is 20 percent of the world’s surface fresh water. It’s an awesome responsibility. We want the kids to be super excited and to feel that sense of responsibility, to have this water available to them and feel like they are the guardians for the planet.”

Over 30 presenters volunteered their time to talk with the students, who spent the day learning about the different ways water is essential to our lives and what we must do to
protect it.

L’Anse Middle School 6th Grader Kaylee Lahti said, “We’ve seen the bugs and we’ve seen how the water cleans itself-that water starts off gross, it goes through a process and it gets cleaner.”

The 2016 Water Festival was made possible by grants from Michigan Tech’s Center for Water & Society, STEM Partnership and from the Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative.