Did you know that Monday, March 22, 2021, is World Water Day? In 1993, the United Nations established every March 22 as World Water Day to help raise awareness of the 2.2 billion people living without access to safe water. That means 1 in every 3 people lacks access to the safe water they need to live healthy lives.
The theme for 2021 World Water Day is valuing water. It’s the perfect time for parents and teacher to teach students the importance of accessible safe water through hands-on safe water projects.
Clean Water Projects for Students
1. Have a “Clean Water Collection Challenge”
Do you know who is responsible for collecting water for their families in impoverished communities without safe water access? Women and children.
A recent study of 24 countries in Sub-saharan African revealed around 3.36 million children and 13.54 million women were retrieving all the water for their families. Sometimes they carried as much as 44-pound buckets of water more than 30 minutes each way. The average distance women and children in developing countries walk to collect water is 3.75 miles, which amounts to 6-7 hours each day.
To help students understand the weight of those statistics, invite them to participate in a “clean water collection challenge.”
Fill a 5-gallon beverage cooler or dispenser with water. Then, have your students take turns balancing it on their heads to see how far they can walk. You can modify this to 1-gallon jugs if your students are younger. This challenge is a great way to incorporate students’ senses and spark compassion for those who don’t have access to clean water.
2. Water Filtration Project
Show your students how water filtration works! When we can transform dirty water into safe water, women and children no longer walk for hours every day to collect water.
Now, the fun begins as you guide your students through making their own water filtration system.
- Cut off the bottom of an old plastic soda bottle.
- Place the bottle upside down into a tall drinking glass.
- Place two inches of cotton balls inside the bottle as the first layer.
- Add an inch of activated charcoal on top of the cotton ball layer.
- Add two inches of gravel on top of the charcoal.
- Add four inches of clean sand on top of the gravel.
- Add more gravel to the bottle as the final layer. Leave about a half-inch of space from the top of the upside-down bottle.
- Add dirt to a glass of water to create muddy water, or you can add glitter or other materials to make dirty water instead.
- Pour the glass of dirty water into the water filter and watch the water drip clean into the glass below.
3. Turning Compassion Into Action
The third project for your students encourages compassion in action. Ask your students to brainstorm ways they can help solve the global water crisis. Their ideas may include:
- Talking to friends and family about what they learned
- Doing household jobs or a walk to raise money for a water charity
- Asking for donations to their favorite water charity instead of birthday gifts
- Older students may suggest social media posts
Students are very imaginative, and they will come up with ideas that will challenge and inspire you!
Celebrating World Water Day with Your Students
We’re on a mission to end the global water crisis. We build holistic clean water solutions and spread God’s love in at-risk communities around the world, empowering people not just to survive, but to thrive – physically, socially and spiritually.