Water Palooza brings together water-conscious organizations and companies to educate elementary school students about the value of water through hands-on and demonstrative activities.
Plan Your Own
At the event, students travel in small groups to various stations to learn about the local water environment, the value of water, initiatives in their community, and how to save water and protect the environment at home. Activities from past events include
- demonstrations on how water resource recovery facilities work
- interactive water cycle songs and dances accompanied by making water cycle bracelets
- using the EnviroScape® Watershed/Nonpoint Source model (demonstrates nonpoint source runoff, storm sewers, and sanitary sewers)
- demonstrations on how rain barrels work
- rain barrel painting
- playing the “What not to flush” and toilet toss game
- demonstrations of how soil filters stormwater runoff
- water cycle coloring stations
- discussion on how pollution impacts animal habitat
- water careers photo booths
This event is one way that the Students and Young Professionals Community and WEF members educate the WEFTEC Host Community about the value of water.
WEF’s Students and Young Professionals Community is always looking for new faces to help with Water Palooza. Volunteering at Water Palooza is a fun and rewarding way to share your passion for the water environment with the next generation of water stewards!
Here are a few of the many ways you can help make this event a success:
- Day-of Volunteer (helps with setup, logistics and day-of activities)
- Water Palooza Committee Member (helps plan and organize the event)
- Booth Host (volunteer as an organization to host an activity at the event)
- Become a Sponsor or Donor
If you are interested in getting involved, please contact Water Palooza Chair, Blaga Delic, or WEF Staff, Ama Richardson.
Water Palooza has engaged 4,775 elementary and middle school students in activities that promote the value of water since 2013.
2023: Ole A. Thorp Scholastic Academy, Chicago, IL
- Participation: 825+ students visited 15 booths
- Highlights: Students took part in different hands-on activities, left their painted hand marks on a white, Xylem Watermark canvas, and received take-home booklets from WEF and MWRD. WEF’s Niles the Crocodile and OA Thorp's school mascot, Thorpie, made lively appearances at the event. Students had a blast dunking their principal and teachers in the dunk tank!
2022: The Good Shepherd School, New Orleans, LA
- Participation: 250+ students visited 13 different booths.
- Highlights: Members of the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans and Jefferson Parish Environmental Affairs were in attendance, along with a volunteer dressed as a ninja turtle taking the kids through what goes on in the sewer system.
2019: Maria Saucedo Scholastic Academy, Chicago, IL
- Participation: 400+ students visited 14 different booths
- Highlights: Members of MWRD were in attendance with their lab coats and microscopes, along with WEF’s very own Niles the Crocodile.
2018: St. Mary's Academy, New Orleans, LA
- Participation: 200+ students visited 10 different booths
- Highlights: Marcia St. Marten, the previous Executive Director of the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans, spent the day at her Alma Mater with the Kindergarten through 5th-grade students.
2017: Manierre Elementary School, Chicago, IL
- Participation: 400 students visited 15 different booths
- Highlights: Walter Burnett, Jr., 27th Ward Alderman, discussed the numerous opportunities for careers in the water industry and how vital they are to the city of Chicago. Members of the MWRD Commission were also in attendance along with WEF’s very own Niles the Crocodile.
2016: Einstein Charter School’s Sherwood Forest Campus, New Orleans, LA
- Participation: 400 students visited 12 different booths
- Highlights: Cedric Grant, Executive Director of the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans, interacted with students and explained why protecting water is important in New Orleans.
2015: John J. Pershing East Magnet School, Chicago, IL
- Participation: 800 elementary students visited 18 booths hosted by 15 organizations.
- Highlights: Representatives from the 4th Ward Alderman’s office stopped by to share information on the area’s water and environment.
2014: Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary & Lusher Charter School, New Orleans, LA
- Participation: 800 students visited 13 booths hosted by 12 organizations.
- Highlights: Students learned about jobs in the water sector, dressed up as a water professionals, and had their photo taken at a water careers photo booth.
2013: Haines Elementary School, Chicago, IL
- Participation: 700 students interacted with 10 different organizations.
- Highlights: The 2nd grade students kicked off an assembly for the 7th and 8th grade students with a song and dance on the water cycle.
Water Palooza in the News
Create Your Own Water Palooza
Plan and execute a fun water-related activity, whether for your child's class, an Earth Day festival, a utility open house, and more. This collection of simple hands-on activities will help to educate children about water.
Water Palooza Toolkit