Northwoods Experience: Itasca Waters Holds 10th Annual Itasca Youth Water Summit
Every year, the Itasca County Fairgrounds receives a flood of students eager to participate in the now decade-long standing event known as the Youth Water Summit, organized by Itasca Waters.
“It’s this incredible group of fifth graders from all over the county all getting together and they’re learning all about water,” said Itasca County Soil and Water Conservation District AIS Manager Bill Grantges.
With 46 exhibits for students to visit and learn from, the Youth Water Summit casts a wide net of information, from tales about the dangers of aquatic invasive species to the amount of water it takes to provide commonplace items used in everyday life.
“We’re just trying to educate kids in a fun and interesting way on how much water they use everyday,” explained Minnesota North College Itasca student Griffin Hagestuen.
A bonus for the students at the water summit was the fact that many of the exhibits provide hands-on activities, giving them an interactive experience to learn from.
“It gives students an opportunity to, kind of, put themselves in that mindset and then really enjoy science,” explained STARBASE Minnesota Director Charity Johnson. “Not just by listening or seeing, but by doing it themselves.”
While the day gave students a tidal wave of educational information and various ways to explore the importance of water, providing students the chance to make a splash in the environment they’re learning to protect is the ultimate goal of the annual summit.
“As a kid, this is kind of something that I would want to do, so being able to design something that I would want to do is something that’s really fun for me,” said Hagestuen.
“This is a favorite event of ours, we had such a great time last year that we wanted to come back, and just knowing they’re having a great time and at the same time learning some very important things about the world around us,” said Johnson.
According to event organizers, about 400 students were in attendance, with roughly 100 adult volunteers chaperoning and assisting in the event’s many exhibits.
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