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WaterWays Marks 20 Years Inspiring Students To Protect and Respect Our Precious Water Resources


PWD’s in-school water education program began 20 years ago providing 130 students at one school with three weeks of water-related lessons.  It has developed through the years to now reach over 1,000 students, nine months a year in multiple schools. 

Amidst a state-wide focus on drought conditions, the Portland Water District recently introduced our redesigned environmental education program to partner schools.  Teachers were enthusiastic about the changes. 

“My students look forward to PWD's WaterWays lessons each week.  The lessons are very engaging and relevant to our curriculum as well to the students’ daily lives. Interactive hands-on activities have made the classes memorable for students and easy for teachers to build upon after each visit.  Wish there were more,” stated Lyman Moore Sixth Grade Teacher Pam Trieu!

The new program, WaterWays, maintains the use of hands-on science lessons to teach middle school students about the ways we use, share, and protect water as well as how we can avoid polluting it.  However, the delivery method and philosophy has been changed to align with the national science standards.  Instead of providing lessons throughout the year to touch on various topics, WaterWays will deliver on one of three themes in a concentrated and comprehensive method that dovetails with the school’s curriculum.  WaterWays will engage students on a deeper level as they explore an environmental topic.  

“The Waterways lessons have been an invaluable part of our water unit.  In the past, the lessons did not always align with what I was teaching.  Now, I can focus on incorporating every lesson into my plans.  I have used the follow up lessons to extend their learning beyond just the one lesson that Carina has taught.  I have felt more connected with the PWD educators and it feels more meaningful to the students,” stated Lyman Moore Sixth Grade Teacher Sarah Carlson.