In its third year, Keystone Science School's water education program, H2O Outdoors, is growing — and fast.
Last year, attendance was around 16, mostly hailing from the Front Range. This year's attendance is nearly double that, with students from many pockets of the state, including Delta, Silt, Glenwood Springs, New Castle, Steamboat Springs, Summit County, Denver and Highlands Ranch, said Dave Miller, Keystone Science School's school programs director and coordinator of the weekend event held roughly twice each year.
“We ... have been working with teachers from around the state to help recruit,” Miller said. Between website marketing and increased communication with schools, word has spread. Most students found out about the program directly from their classroom teachers, Miller said.
The goal of H2O Outdoors is to provide students with an understanding of the different perspectives within water management, Miller said. Students learn about water-management issues by going into the field and doing hands-on classroom activities. They are tasked with taking on the role of a stakeholder in water management and playing that role when they come together to discuss solutions for sharing water in Colorado and beyond. It's a method the Keystone Science School's parent organization — The Keystone Center — uses with adult experts addressing science and public policy issues.
Learning by beingOn Saturday, the first day of the fall program, each of the 28 students read their stakeholder role, which varied from a manager of a western slope municipality to representing Denver Water to learning how Keystone Resort's Brett Lockard might approach water use in Colorado to protect his interests in creating a quality golf course and snowmaking prior to the ski season — both of which drive the economy.
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