1. Basic characteristics of the project

Contractor: Water agency Association, Sv. 56a Florijan st., 3250 Rogaska Slatina.

Project duration:  September 1st  2018 to May 31st 2019.

Project Financing: Under the MIT grant, the project is supported by the Henkel Group.

Target group: 3rd and 4th grade elementary school students in the Podravje region and their teachers.

Number of participating primary schools: 12.

Number of teachers involved: 26.

Number of students involved: 539.

Number of students participating in mobile water station workshops: 1073.

Number of water meters used: 30.

  1. Project goals

The main purpose of the project is to educate students, especially 3rd and 4th graders about the environment and especially about water resources. Within the project we have set the following goals:

– Awareness of the importance of water resources and the need to protect them.

– Raising awareness of drinking water status and its proper use in everyday life.

– Rationalization of drinking water consumption.

– Understanding where the water comes to the school and how it gets to the tap.

– Understanding the path of wastewater and what happens to it.

The set goals were achieved through various activities in the classroom as well as in the activities of interest in schools. Teachers were completely free to choose and carry out individual activities, as they know their students and their abilities best.

  1. Performed activities

The project carried out the following activities:

  1. Introductory seminar for participating teachers. It was performed on November 7th 2018 at the Elementary school Martin Konšak in Maribor. There were 25 teachers from participating schools and two students from Sostro Primary School in Ljubljana, who presented their activities within the project Water agent. Teachers from the Elementary school Žetala, Mrs. Lidija Šešerko and Mrs. Valeria Krivec, Mrs. Majda Adlesic presented the experiences of the Balkan countries to the audience. At the end of the seminar, teachers from the Henkel representative, Mrs. Polona Jalovec Borovnik granted educational packages.
  2. Training workshops with a Mobile water station. These took place over a period of two weeks between December 3rd and December 7th 2018, and between January 22nd and January 25th During the workshops, the students became acquainted with the water and utilities infrastructure. This made it easier for students to understand where the tap water came from and what happens to it when it drains into the drain, which increased their awareness of responsible water and water management. The workshops were held in relatively cold weather, but were well received by teachers and students and were actively involved. A total of 1,073 students from eight elementary schools attended the workshops.
  3. Opening of the Exhibition of students Art works. The students of the participating schools created 560 works of art on the theme of water and protection of water resources in the form of the logo of the Water Agent project. We presented the products in the form of an exhibition to the general public at the Hotel Slovenija in Rogaška Slatina. The official opening of the exhibition took place on Saturday, April 13th, 2019. Product photos are also available on the social website: https://www.vodnaagencija.org/. On this occasion, a professional and social meeting of teachers from participating schools took place in Rogaška Slatina and in the immediate vicinity of Aljaž Čoh on mineral water in Rogaška Slatina and got acquainted with local water sources.
  4. Final public meeting to present the results of participating schools. The meeting took place

May 15th, 2019 at  Elementary school Borcev za severno mejo in Maribor. The meeting was attended by 15 teachers from participating schools. The gathered were greeted by a visiting school teacher, Mrs. Mojca Birsa, representative of the  Water agency Association, Mr. Joze Cvetko and Mrs. PhD. Tatjana Kikec and a representative of Henkel, Mrs. Polona Jalovec Borovnik. The students of the visiting school prepared a short cultural program for the participants. This was followed by a presentation of the activities and evaluation of the results achieved by the project manager, Ms. PhD. Tatjane Kikec. In the following, the participating schools presented their experience with the project and the results achieved. The final part was followed by a discussion with the exchange of experience of the participants. Participating teachers were presented with certificates of participation in the project.

  1. Technical and professional support. Throughout the duration of the project, the Water agency provided technical assistance to the participating teachers for the installation and use of water meters and the use of the Water agent online application for data entry. Most of the assistance was provided at a distance, and on several occasions a representative of the Society also came to the participating schools in person. The teachers also had professional support regarding the planning and implementation of activities with the students.
  2. Activities of teachers and pupils at participating schools

The teachers installed the received water meters on the faucets in the classrooms and, together with the students, monitored their daily water consumption. The data were carefully recorded and entered into the Water Agent application, where they were able to accurately chart changes in water consumption over selected time periods on a graph. Based on the data collected and the interview, they tried to rationalize their water use through simple daily actions with the students.

As part of the project, the teachers included a number of water related topics in their lessons. In the form of conversation, storytelling, watching different videos, hands-on experiments, fieldwork and other teaching methods, students learned about the water cycle, different water sources, identified water consumers and major water pollutants, compared the amount and status of drinking water at home and around the world. . The result of their work is a number of instructive posters, thought patterns, literary works (poems, stories) and fine arts, and last but not least, a research assignment.

At the end of the project, teachers prepared short reports on the activities carried out at their schools and the results achieved.

  1. Project results

Analysis in the Water agent application of the collected data showed that the average water consumption in the first month of monitoring the consumption was 2.28 liters per pupil per day. At the end of the project, the average consumption is only 1.34 liters per pupil per day. This means a 41% reduction in water consumption, which is higher than expected. In doing so, the participating teachers proved that through a variety of student awareness activities, the rational use of water can be made within a relatively short time, in a few months, to reduce its consumption. Pupils have also become environmentally conscious, aware of the scarcity of water resources and the need to protect them. The record of the students from the Žetala elementary school also shows that the set goals were achieved:

»Start saving water! That way, the world will be better and more beautiful for everyone. “

The project was rated by the participating teachers as very good, as it seamlessly integrates with everyday life at school and at home. As water consumption is measured, the subject matter is also concrete enough to be interesting to students and to participate.

  1. Promotion of the project

During the duration of the project, the Water agency took care of proper promotion of the project in the media as well as in professional circles.

– Invitations to the event describing the project were sent to the media prior to the seminar for teachers of participating schools on November 7th  2019 and before the final meeting to present the results on May 15th 2019. Following the events, a press release was circulated to the media. The event was reported by some local radio stations.

– Reports on the implementation of the project were published on the web site of the Association Water Agency:

(9. 11. 2018),

 

A workshop with the Water station at the Primary School Olga Meglič in Ptuj on November 7th , 2018 was attended by the television team of Television Maribor with journalist Jasmina Gregorec. The prepared article was broadcast as part of the TELE M TV show on RTV Slovenia 2 on December 7, 2018 at 8.46 am  http://www.rtvslo.si/tvmaribor/oddaje/16  (8.30-9.30).

The opening of the exhibition at the Hotel Slovenija in Rogaska Slatina was also reported by the local newspaper Rogaska News.

– We informed the about the activities in the project on the FB page of the Water agency Association:

https://www.facebook.com/vodniagentdonavskeregije/.

News on project activities was published on the Slovenian Education Network (SIO):

The results of the project were presented by the project manager at the international conference Let’s Live with Water, May 31st  – June 1st  2019 in Podsreda Castle and Primary school Bistrica ob Sotli

http://konferenca.splet.arnes.si/files/2019/05/Program-konference-Zazivimo-z-vodo_3- 1.pdf;

the paper was also published in the conference proceedings

http://konferenca.splet.arnes.si/files/2019/05/mednarodna_konferenca_zazivimo_z_vodo.pdf.

The project was presented at the International Conference of the Water Agency  11-12. 10. 2019 in Rogaška Slatina.

PhD.  Tatjana Kikec