SCP is excited to partner with Sonoma Water (previously known as the Sonoma County Water Agency) to integrate lessons about renewable energy, climate change, and the human enhanced greenhouse effect into Sonoma Water’s existing, and highly successful, Water Education Program.
In Sonoma Water’s 3rd grade Water and Energy Program, students learn about the relationship between water use and the energy needed to pump and treat it. Through hands-on activities with coal and solar panels, the class explores nonrenewable and renewable forms of energy, as well as the connection between human activity and carbon emissions.
Since the start of 2018, a total of 1,775 third graders from thirty-one schools in Sonoma County have received these energy education lessons.
Sonoma Water also hosts a program for 4th grade classrooms titled “Renewable Energy – Be Part of the Climate Change Solution!” Working with SCP, this program was made available to schools outside of Sonoma Water’s service area allowing additional schools in Sonoma and Mendocino Counties to participate.
Eighteen schools were visited between January and May 2018, including four in Mendocino County and fourteen in Sonoma County.
During the classroom presentation, students learn that electricity is generated from different sources and that some are renewable, and others are nonrenewable.
Students examine the correlation between the combustion of fossil fuels and the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, as well as how the warming of the earth is connected to sea level rise, more frequent and extreme weather events, and changes in ecosystems.
“The program was excellent. One of the best I have ever had in my classroom in 22 years of teaching,” said one teacher in his evaluation of the program.
Using a more entertaining approach, Sonoma Water also puts on a musical assembly program called ZunZun. This lively, interactive show uses humor and music to teach elementary school students about water conservation, storm drain pollution, local drinking water, energy, and climate change.
A total of 25 schools in Mendocino and Sonoma Counties hosted the musical assembly during the 2017/2018 school year, reaching over 9,200 students.
Lastly, SCP and Sonoma Water worked with an artist to develop a cartoon map of Sonoma and Mendocino counties that highlights the renewable energy projects in the region. This map will be used as a giveaway at outreach events and distributed to classroom teachers who participate in the Water Education Program.
To learn more about Sonoma Water’s educational programs, visit http://www.scwa.ca.gov/education/.