This year 4 schools have completed Challenge: Water; a KS3 STEM programme devised by WaterAid and delivered by Affinity Water. Students took part in two taught sessions at their school then were set three challenges: run a water saving campaign in the school community, design improvements to WaterAid’s VIP latrine to increase accessibility and fundraise for WaterAid.
All the students then attended a celebration event at the Fielder Centre in Hatfield where they presented their projects to each other and a panel of judges: Pauline Walsh, CEO of Affinity Water; Dr James Jenkins, Head of Geography, Environment and Agriculture at the University of Hertfordshire; Bob Prothero, Education Officer at WaterAid and Helen Spencer, Director of educational charity SETPOINT Hertfordshire.
The judges chose Beaumont School from St Albans as this year’s winners, commending their use of a physical 1m cube to illustrate weekly water use per person. The judges also praised the “genius” idea of a combined bell and door release in their toilet design, allowing those with disabilities to use it independently yet call for assistance if needed. They were awarded their trophy by Cllr Barbara Simmons, Mayor of Welwyn and Hatfield, and will also receive £500 for their school.
Students from Beaumont said “We learnt a lot more about water and how there is a global problem. We made new friends and discovered a lot about teamwork. We learnt many skills that will be useful in later life such as negotiation, perseverance and collaboration.”
Sarah Caleb, Education Coordinator at Affinity Water, said: “I am immensely proud of the work these students have done over the last five months. As well as collectively raising over £3,000 for WaterAid through their participation, they have come away with a better understanding of the importance of water both locally and globally and why and how we should save water.”
If you are a secondary school teacher and would be interested in taking part in Challenge: Water 2020, please email us at email@example.com to register your interest. The programme runs from January to May and we will be recruiting schools in September.