H2O Outdoors is a 3-day program teaching high school students about the many uses of water and the policy which surrounds how Colorado’s water is managed. Throughout the program students learn about careers within water management, conduct field-based research, and visit several key locations in Summit County as they learn about the various stakeholders who work to manage our water.
In October of 2022 we had 33 students attend H2O Outdoors, from 12 different high schools around Colorado.
This year our Expert Panel included a variety of local professionals from around Summit County and Colorado with different roles within water management, from engineers to water commissioners. They helped the students learn about their role in water management and the needs of their stakeholders. Our 2022 panellists included Troy Wineland – Summit County Water Commissioner, Eric Detmer – Chief Environmental Engineer, Matt Bond – Denver Water, Mary Dawson – Aurora Water, Kendra Fuller – Blue River Watershed Group, Sherry Meschko – Aurora Water, and Melissa Botteicher – Denver Water.
Our students also took a tour of the Continental Divide to gain a sense of the scale surrounding western water issues. They then took field trips to the Upper Blue River, Lower Blue River, Snake River, and North Ten Mile Creek to perform Stream Surveys. Here they conducted water tests, chemical water quality tests, and took an aquatic biology survey. They finished the weekend with a Town Hall meeting on our campus, where students represented stakeholders in a debate about the construction of a new resovoir in order to recommend policy solutions and come to an agreement.
After looking at the evaluation results from student surveys at the start and end of the program, overall students showed an increase in understanding about water issues and how to create solutions, on questions like “I am knowledgeable about water issues in Colorado,” “Water is a limited resource” and “Collaboration can occur when opinions differ.”
“My daughter absolutely loved it. From the team building skills to the hands on projects, she felt included, heard and a great sense of comradery.” – 2022 H2O Outdoors parent
“The most impactful part was learning about the water we gain and lack as well as learning from other stakeholders’ opinions.” – 2022 H2O Outdoors parent
We want to thank our ever generous donors and community partners Denver Water and Aurora Water.
View the 2022 H2O Outdoors Final Report below for more info on the impact of this program at Keystone Science School! Stay tuned for details on H2O Outdoors 2023!