Written by: Elizabeth Wren, Halton Children Water Festival and Volunteer Coordinator
“One streamy-weemy … two streamy weemies … three streamy weemies …”, these are not the words you expect to hear coming from a high school student, but if you come to the Halton Children’s Festival (HCWF), that’s what you will hear. But, what you will also hear is the sound of nearly a thousand school children laughing and having fun as they learn about water.
The HCWF took place from September 23 to 26 at Kelso Conservation Area under a brilliant blue sky with unseasonably warm temperatures. More than 3,900 students in grades 2 to 5 from both the Halton District School Board and Halton Catholic District School Board participated in the festival.
One of the unique aspects of the HCWF is that more than three quarters of the activities are led by high school students. This creates a great mentoring and leadership opportunity for the high school students to teach and lead an activity for younger students. The best part is they do an outstanding job!
The Festival has grown steadily since its’ launch in 2006 from three days and 3,000 students to the current four days and 3,900 students. This is in no small part due to the quality of the experience and learning for the elementary students at the various activities. The HCWF features close to 60 activity centers linked to the curriculum which incorporate four main water-related themes.
- Water Science and Technology
- Water Conservation and Protection
- Water Health and Safety
- Water and Society
So what do the students do at the Water Festival, well here’s just a few examples. The students participate in a relay race where they carry a yoke and two buckets with water to demonstrate how pioneers would have transported water for their basic needs, as opposed to today when you just turn on a tap. They also learn how polluted water can impact not only us, but the fish, turtles, frogs and other creatures who live in creeks, streams, river and lakes. There are activities that allow students to connect with creatures we easily cannot see, the bugs and micro-organisms that are in the water.
Oh and if you’re wondering what the “streamy-weamy” is? It was students counting at Rate of Flow to calculate how fast their rubber duck was travelling along the current in the Sixteen Mile Creek an important spawning ground for Atlantic Salmon.
In just nine years, the Water Festival has become a great day for students and teachers to get their school year started off right.
About the Halton Children’s Water Festival
The HCWF is co-hosted by Conservation Halton and Halton Region in partnership with, the Halton District School Board, the Halton Catholic District School Board, the City of Burlington, the Town of Halton Hills, and the Town of Oakville. Conservation Halton Chairman John Vice and Regional Chair Gary Carr serve as the Festival’s honorary co-chairs.
The Festival is a community partnership dependent on more than 140 volunteers each day to help with various activities. The Festival is sustainable thanks to in-kind and monetary support from organizations in the Halton community.
Thank you to our sponsors for the Halton Children’s Water Festival!
Other Sponsors include:
- Aird & Berlis LLP
- Associated Engineering
- Bordner Ladner Gervais
- City of Burlington
- Burlington Caer Association
- Town of Halton Hills
- R.V. Anderson Associates Limited
- Storage Solutions
- Thomson Rogers
- GE Power & Water
- Hatch Mott MacDonald
- RM Construction
- Eramosa Engineering
- Hicks Morley
- Scotiabank Georgetown
- The Water Store
For more information on the Festival supporters, visit www.hcwf.ca/supporters/list-of-supporters.