NW Minnesota Water Festival
The NW Minnesota Water Festival is a two-day learning event held every September for fourth graders in northwest Minnesota. The festival teaches students about water and why it is so important to conserve this precious resource. Organizers were just about ready to cancel the festival because of the COVID-19 pandemic when a group of partnering conservation agencies* stepped forward with the idea of going virtual with the event. They pooled resources and staff to develop tutorials about watersheds, water quality, ground water, flooding, aquatic invasive species, aquatic life, the water cycle, and fish printing along with a hands-on activity for each lesson. An instruction/answer packet, a link to the online lesson, and an evaluation form were also provided for each teacher’s use. Activity supplies were purchased assembled, labeled, and packaged into totes with the lesson packets for distribution to the schools. Twenty-three schools (585 students) and four home schools (4 students) from eight different counties took part in this fun interactive experience.
*A big thanks goes out to the northwest Minnesota Soil & Water Conservation Districts,
Red Lake Watershed District, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge, and the International Water Institute for taking part in this event.
Teacher and student lesson packets can be found at: