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La Primaria School Showcases Discovery Science Center’s Water Science Curriculum

La Primaria Elementary students participate in hands-on science experiments as they showcase the Discovery Science Center’s Water Science Curriculum, made possible through a partnership of the Upper San Gabriel Municipal Water District, Discovery Science Center and the THINK Together After School Program.

by Stacey Hilton

El Monte

Conservation and erosion were the topic of discussion as students in the THINK Together after school program at La Primaria Elementary School showcased the Discovery Science Center’s Water Science Curriculum.  Through the partnership of the Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District, Discovery Science Center and THINK Together the comprehensive water education program is offered to local schools.  The after-school element of the Water District’s program represents an innovative approach to traditional water education programs, complementing in-class assembly programs offered at the 4th and 5th grade levels and water quality workshop programs offered at the 6th grade level to create a ground-breaking new model.
La Primaria’s young scientists were excited to show off their skills and knowledge as members of the Board of the Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District, executives from Discovery Science Center and THINK Together administrators observed the water curriculum implementation.
“We are so thankful for the partnership of the Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District and Discovery Science Center for this awesome curriculum for our kids,” said Hector Martinez, La Primaria’s THINK Together Site Coordinator.  “It is nice to see what can happen for kids when organizations work together.”
“It is refreshing to see science in the after school program,” said Lisa Summerville Bennett, General Manager of the Los Angeles County THINK Together program.  “With the severe budget cuts to education, science has been squeezed out of the school day and this curriculum provides the students the opportunity to engage in hands-on science.”
Leading a lesson in water conservation, THINK Together Program Leader, Erica Rios-Streitz, shared that taking a five minute shower is much better than taking a bath.
“Water is a very precious resource and we need to conserve it,” said Erica.  “A five minute shower uses about 10 gallons of water and a bath uses about 35 gallons, so be sure to tell your family and friends to opt for showers and keep them to five minutes or less.”
With the students’ help they figured out that approximately 9,125 gallons of water can be saved a year by hoping in the shower instead of the bathtub.
Moving on to an experiment on erosion, the students timed how fast water flows through a simulated ditch when it is clear of debris and when it has sand and dirt in it.
“I love doing science,” said fifth grader Alyssa Amaya.  “We get to do a lot of hands-on stuff in THINK Together and it’s really fun.”
Fifth grader, Fernando Hernandez loves learning about science too, and is thankful to have the program at his school.
“Learning about water conservation is really important and we all need to do our part to help conserve water,” he said.  “I’m glad we have this program and are able to learn so much about science.”
According to Brian Urias, Director of the Upper San Gabriel Municipal Water District, the water science curriculum is important, especially now with the Governor’s declaration of a drought in California.
“It’s very important that we get education out there and protect our environment and our most precious resource–water.  The water district is happy to fund this program and partner with Discovery Science Center, THINK Together and Mountain View School District to bring this valuable curriculum to the students and community,” said Urias.
As they recorded data using Cornell Notes of the water flow from their simulated erosion experiments, the young science explorers were definitely having fun learning about science.
“This community partnership is great,” said Adam Carranza, Mountain View School District Board of Education member.  “It shows that great things happen through collaboration and it is wonderful to see the students having fun and engaged in science.  I’m very glad we have the program here at La Primaria and hope it continues.”

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