Area fifth-graders learn about the many impacts of water

by Chabella Guzman

Brooklynn Luikens
Lake Minatare, fifth-grader Brooklynn Luikens, took a turn at setting an irrigation pipe. Waiting their turn was Micheala Ashing, left, and Addison Reuter. Photo by Chabella Guzman
October 10, 2023

Lincoln, Neb. —The annual Water Education for Tomorrow or W.E.T. event held on Oct. 5-6 welcomed fifth graders from nine western Nebraska schools. The event is hosted by ESU13, and students visited nine stations dealing with water at the North Platte Natural Resources Department in Scottsbluff. 

“We try to provide these kinds of learning opportunities for each grade,” said Dave Griess, ESU professional learning coordinator. Water is a science standard of focus for fifth-graders. Among the nine presenters at the event was the Nebraska Extension 4-H presenting on the Importance of Irrigation. 

“So basically, we’re going over where we get our groundwater as well as our surface water and making sure they understand where the water that we grow our food with comes from,” said Stephanie Connelly, Scotts Bluff County 4-H extension assistant. Students set irrigation tubes using various methods taught to them by Connelly and Gary Stone, Nebraska Extension educator. And most of the students only got a little wet while successfully setting tubes. 

The youth rotated from station to station, learning about aquatic wildlife, the effects of water erosion, and water and fossils. 

“We have around 265 students this year,” said Kyle Ann Hopkins, NPNRD data management and outreach coordinator. “This is our second year of hosting the event, but it's been going on for more than 20 years.” The students seemed to enjoy the stations, visiting each one about 20 minutes before they moved on to the next. 

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Water | Nebraska Extension