2010 Bezos Scholar Molly Freed and educator Noah Zeichner focused their Local Ideas Festival on the global issue of water.
Molly and Noah encouraged their school community to learn more about the realities of global water scarcity while extending the conversation to local water conservation.
The World Water Week festival started with an opening ceremony featuring Congressman Jay Inslee and a keynote address from University of Arizona Professor, Robert Glennon. Additional notables included: Cecile Hansen (Chairwoman of Duwamish Tribe), Pam Elardo (King County Wastewater), Steve Malloch (National Wildlife Federation), Randy Lewis (Colville Tribe), Zac Gleason (Cascade Designs), Christina Gallegos (Longfellow Creek), Scott Wolf (Milller/Hull Architecture), Cari Simson (Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition), Susan Long (Starbucks), Pat Lennon (PATH), Jan Willem Rosenboom (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation), Katie Spataro (Cascadia Green Building Council), Aaron Walling (A Child’s Right), Rick McKenney (Water for Humans), Darian Davis (Seattle Public Utilities), and Theresa Britschgi (Seattle BioMed). Throughout the week-long festival students also participated in school-wide lessons and attended assemblies and workshops.
“We believe that World Water Week changed the culture of our school. The festival engaged the entire student body and staff members in a genuine way. The greatest success of the festival was that all students and staff participated in the all-school assembly on Wednesday, the all-school lesson on Thursday, and the teach-in and Water Walk on Friday. It definitely taught the students and staff members an immense amount about water, but more importantly it taught them that it’s possible to learn about relevant and applicable information in a school environment, and we needed the entire week to pull it off. Students were inundated with information and activities during the first few days and, by the time Friday arrived, we had their attention,” stated Molly.
Watch the first year's Water Week event here: https://youtu.be/pJGIj-dT1fA
World Water Week continued celebrated four years at Chief Sealth High School, focusing each year on a new subtopic: first, the relationship between water and food security, then sanitation and health, and finally the problem of plastic pollution.
Hear from educator Noah Zeichner about how World Water Week evolved beyond their week-long festival to, ultimately, be incorporated into the 9th grade curriculum at Chief Sealth International High School in Seattle, WA: https://bezosscholars.org/stories/world-water-week/