Did you happen to see groups of smart teenagers walking around San Antonio wearing blue shirts with the word ‘Confluence’ printed on the front? You weren’t alone.
More than 800 local high school students from 26 public and private high schools gathered Tuesday at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center for San Antonio Water System‘s (SAWS) fourth annual Confluence summit. This year’s event focused on water quality.
Throughout the morning, students participated in activity-based learning activities, including TV-style game shows to test their water knowledge; “scoop the (not real) poop” to earn points learning about disposing of biologic waste; saw the mini-robots that broadcast the city’s sewers; met SAWS construction inspectors to learn why resource protection is important at construction sites; tried out an old-style fishing booth to learn about water pollutants and what to do with them; and toured displays by other kids who have conducted investigational studies of water in San Antonio.
“San Antonio is a national leader in water issues, and to share this story with some of our future water leaders is important,” said Anne Hayden, SAWS communications manager. “By educating today’s youth about water issues facing our community, we are investing in our future.”
In addition to the summit, the February SAWS Board Meeting also met at the Convention Center to provide Board Members and attendees an opportunity to visit the conference.
SAWS education programs stress topics such as surface water, ground water, wastewater treatment and drinking water for students and residents – no matter their age. Classroom-based curricula is available free of charge to educators and students. Adults can learn first-hand about San Antonio’s water cycle in the Rain to Drain Experience, a free field trip that traces water from falling raindrops to what happens after the flush.