Water Rocks! began in 2012 to fill a need in Iowa’s soil and water conservation outreach efforts: there was a particular need to reach out to youth, the next generation of Iowans. WR! has accomplished extensive outreach to Iowa’s youth in six years, collectively reaching over 85,000 people across all 99 counties in the state. And over the years, the youth have told us just how much they enjoy WR! presentations!
Water Rocks! youth outreach falls into three categories: classroom educational visits, community events, and school music assemblies. The WR! team travels all over the state, adapting the content and delivery of each presentation by grade level of our audiences. From learning about watersheds and wetlands, to biodiversity and soil, Water Rocks! learning modules keep youth engagement and energy levels high by providing an interactive environment, and of course, games to support learning! Our goals are simple: we want youth to learn something, and to have FUN. And the feedback we get from students tells us that we are accomplishing this mission. But you don’t have to take our word for it; see what Iowa youth are saying about us!
“Thank you for teaching us about watersheds, conserving, saving water, and much more! I like the trick where you cup your hand and it’s like a watershed.” –- Dubuque 6th grader
“Thank you so much for getting time out of your day to come to our school and teach us. I learned a lot, I MEAN A LOT, about soil. The thing I did not know was there could be 7 billion things in one shovel.” –Council Bluffs 5th grader
“I hope people appreciate what you guys do. Also how you try to keep our four biggest watersheds clean!” –Davenport 6th grader
“We had so much fun learning about wetlands in Iowa, and we loved the activities, too!”—Madrid 4-H camp middle school youth
“I really liked the water experiment, like our little piece of land and mixing water with what will get in the water. I will recycle and save the planet.” –Dubuque 6th grader
“I thought it was interesting when you showed us the pollution because the things you put inside the river water jar are just too cool, like the water turned green. And there is not only one size of a watershed; it can be big, small, medium or all kinds of sizes!” –Muscatine 3rd grader
“I learned that soil pollutes the water and really isn’t good to put in the water.” –Davenport 6th grader
“Thank you so much for teaching about pollution, bacteria, and the watershed! My favorite part was when we made the map of the river.” –Decorah 3rd grader
Since its inception, music has been foundational to how Water Rocks! educates Iowa’s youth about water resources. In addition to its original songs and award-winning music videos, Water Rocks! began taking its musical productions on the road in 2016 with their WR! School Assemblies. Combining infectious melodies and lyrical rhyme with beat boxing and rap, WR! Assemblies utilize audience participation to keep students engaged and learning from start to finish. From “Scoop the Poop” to the “Watershed Rap,” WR! School Assemblies are making a splash with elementary and middle school students. Overheard in the moments after a WR! School Assembly are the following questions:
“Can you sing that song again?”
“You are really good at beat-boxing.”
“Are you a real rapper?”
“This is awesome. Can we go on tour with you?”
It’s clear that WR! Assemblies are on their way to having a serious youth fan base! We are thrilled at the overwhelmingly positive student response, and look forward to many more Assemblies to come.