8th Annual Itasca Youth Water Summit Makes Waves
Itasca County brought all the 5th graders in the area together for their 8th annual Youth Water Summit.
“We’re blessed in Itasca County with a thousand lakes and we still have pretty good water quality here, and what we’re trying to do is promote the fact that we need to be pretty careful with what we have here because it can change quickly,” says David Lick, president of Itasca Waters.
With 45 different stations about water, science and even art, it’s safe to say the Itasca Youth Water Summit made a pretty big splash. This year, about 450 5th graders from all over Itasca County were able to participate, not to mention multiple parent volunteers and instructors from various areas of work.
“The people that have retired from the science profession. We use the state employees that are experts in water science. This year, we have a turtle exhibit that we’ve never had before. We have a water simulating machine that we’ve never had before,” says Lick.
The kids went to at least 6 of the 45 different sections, and nearly all of them were interactive. The students got to play with critters, learn about camping, and even hear from a meteorologist from Duluth.
When asked about her favorite thing from the day, Robert J. Elkington 5th grader Maggie says, “The play was pretty fun, but I probably like the mercury and the lead one.”
Gunnar, another 5th grader from Robert J. Elkington, says, “My favorite part was probably the 2nd station where we got to taste the spring water that was from the always flowing spring and it was just, like, non-purified and it tasted really good.”
From invasive species and science demonstrations to recreational activities like kayaking and fishing, the kids who attended the water summit today learned a little bit of everything about water. One of the most important things they learned is how to take care of our lakes and make sure that we conserve as much as we can.
“We have a mission to try and promote water quality and we feel that if we educate the youngsters, they might help educate the older people that really do have the jurisdiction over what happens on their land.”
The mission was not lost on the students. The few that took the time to talk to Lakeland News say they’re walking away with more knowledge than what they had before.
When asked what he learned today, Robert J. Elkington 5th grader Ryder says, “If you litter and sometimes the lake won’t purify it and sometimes birds and stuff like that can get caught up in it and suffocate and die.”
Teachers also told Lakeland News that the lessons learned at the water summit to have a positive ripple effect in the classroom. Tara, a 5th grade teacher, said, “Being able to go back to the kids at the end of the day, we always get the reaction that it was a great experience because of the so many different activities and perspectives on water, and it’s very hands on at a lot of the stations and they really enjoy it.”
You can learn a little bit about what was taught at this year’s water at Itascawaters.org.