An exciting competition for school children has been launched by UWE Bristol academics in collaboration with Waterwise. Based on the award winning book DRY: The Story of a Water Superhero, the competition provides an ideal opportunity to engage young people to think about water use and enable positive behaviour change.
Having won the Geography Association’s Silver Award, the book written as a young girl’s diary, has been published by the Drought Risk & You (DRY) Project (UWE Bristol), which is funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). The story runs over the course of a year and tells how an ordinary schoolgirl in the UK transforms into a water superhero when a dry summer and winter with little rainfall lead to drought. Seeing life through ‘water goggles’, the girl shares her new-found love of water with her school and community, as the drought progresses.
The story and accompanying teacher notes were created by Professor Lindsey McEwen, who heads the DRY project and is Professor of Environmental Management and Director of the Centre for Water, Communities and Resilience at the UWE Bristol, Dr Verity Jones, Senior Lecturer in Education at UWE; Sarah Whitehouse, Senior Lecturer in Education & Humanities at UWE and Dr Sara Williams, an environmental psychologist and researcher. The illustrations by artist Luci Gorell Barnes play a key role in projecting the relevance of the story and the science behind it.
The curriculum-led competition is a creative challenge for children to read and enjoy the engaging STEM book and use their imagination to illustrate what their community would look like if we all used water more wisely. It also offers an ideal opportunity to embed geography, science and PSHE into real-world learning, informed by evidence-based scientific research. Which can be carried out in lessons / activities or set as a homework assignment. It is also ideal for out-of-school activity groups.
The aim of the competition is to:
- Raise awareness of the importance of treating water as a precious resource in the face of climate change, based on the research of the Drought Risk and You (DRY) Project
- Teach the causes of and impacts of drought in the UK
- Prompt changes in behaviour to use water more wisely – inspiring children to be agents of change, to protect our communities and our planet, carrying the message back to their homes and families
- To give them the confidence and background knowledge to engage with some of the themes and messages of COP26, the world’s biggest climate change summit being hosted by the UK in Glasgow in November
- Communicate the accessible science behind the DRY Project, part of the NERC-funded About Drought programme
The competition is open to 5-9 and 10-13 year olds entries must be submitted between May 1st-28th 2021
For more information about the competition see the website: www.waterwise.org.uk/drycompetition
You can access the online DRY: The Story of a Water Superhero book and teacher notes here