Teacher Testimonials

Wr Summit Logo No Year(Web)Over both days of the Water Rocks! Summit, one message prevailed: educating today’s youth about the importance of water will give them the knowledge to influence change when they become adult members of their communities.

All Summit participants completed a pre-event and post-event self-evaluation, indicating their knowledge and/or comfort related to different environmental topics and teaching these concepts. Teachers came in not having an extensive background knowledge of water quality, soil health, and Iowa’s ecosystems, with an average pre-assessment score of 56/100 (n=55). After participating in the Summit, teachers’ proficiency and understanding of water quality, soil, health, and environmental issues saw substantial improvement, with an average post-assessment score of 81/100 (n=55).

Teachers were asked to submit a one-page reflection about their experience at the Water Rocks! Summit. Below are excerpts from the teacher reflections submitted after completing the Water Rocks! Summit.

This summit was exquisitely designed!

As I peruse the flash drive and various online resources, I see several activities that will be useful to me as a science teacher. I have to admit I initially questioned the applicability of the summit to my 8th grade physical science curriculum. I am intensely interested in all things local and sustainable, however, and I exited the summit thinking that every Iowan, science teacher or not, should be given this information.

I was very impressed by how educational your classroom activities are on many levels. Very often, such activities seem too contrived to be of much real value. Yours had both good content AND entertainment value. The kids will forget they’re in a classroom!


The music videos are tremendous. You are right when you say that music is a very motivating teaching tool to reinforce vocabulary and concepts.

To conclude, you are such a creative group. We don’t believe we have ever attended a class that we have had so much fun and learned so much about our environment.


I also appreciated the science of climate change. I feel much better about giving kids the science data, keeping the emotion out of the information, and focusing on how we can care for the earth.

Teacher Testimonial Yellow

Thank you so much for this opportunity! I have followed you on Twitter and look forward to keeping up with your growth!


I really liked the Rock Your Watershed! Game. What a great idea to show students the different ways in which to use the land and allow them to discover how these ways will affect the profit, nutrient output and erosion. The best part is that it could be used as a competition, which is always a great learning tool that really engages students. I will use this game a lot!


A great part of the summit was the way it is presented. You all made this very engaging, but more importantly you modeled how these modules could be taught. I am already thinking of how I can use these in both Science and Global Studies as an interdisciplinary unit.

I have always been very passionate about the environment and the effects humans have on it. The Des Moines District’s Curriculum for Science focusses much more on the facts of weather, climate and the water cycle. What I really appreciated about how you presented the ideas with an emphasis on conservation practices. This is the piece that is so important and the piece that I have not been incorporating into my classes.


I went into the Water Rocks Summit not really knowing what to expect. My hope was that this class would help me to extend what the teachers are doing in the classroom into my music class. I, however, received so much more. I ended the class with an understanding of not just vocabulary such as watershed or biodiversity, but also how they impact my life.


When we talked about losing five tons of soil per acre per year this was very eye opening. As you showed that this the thickness of a dime over all the land I know we were all thinking that this was no big deal, but then to hear how long it take for the Earth to rebuild that soil it was quite mind blowing.

Teacher Testimonial Kelly Green__________

Thank you so much for the class and for the colorful learning aids you sent home! You’ve taken the guesswork out of needing to teach these subjects; yet doing so in an enjoyable, interactive way. I’m very impressed with the Water Rocks! team! … You have gotten a lot done in developing Water Rocks! in the last two years! Children will benefit from your expertise, for many years to come.


When children make one of the following comments, it makes me smile. “Wow, I love science.” “I can’t wait for science class!” I appreciate the wealth of information you have imparted to us in order for us to get kids excited about science as well as share that information with their parents.


This cooperative project has been funded in part through the Section 319 of the Clean Water Act. Partners of Water Rocks! include Iowa Department of Natural Resources (United States Environmental Protection Agency), Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa Water Center, Iowa Learning Farms, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, and personal gifts of support.





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