"Water to Grow" Art Contest
Dan Howell, Jeff Neel, Barbara Oplinger, Mark Wilson
To raise awareness among primary grade children and educators about water issues and about a new learning tool dealing with natural resources and conservation in agriculture. The strategy is to improve an existing program by adding lesson plans for educators, to make the lesson plans available on the Web, and to expand an art competition, with rewards for competition winners and sale of their artwork on postcards, calendars, etc.
The team selected topics and researched information to develop lesson plans about the use of water in agriculture. Faculty at the Kansas State University College of Education reviewed the materials and assisted in matching them to the Kansas Standards for education. The lesson plans were added to the website: http://www.ksagclassroom.org/
An existing art contest sponsored by the Kansas Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom was incorporated in the project. The theme for the art contest was matched to the lessons and publicity was generated for both. The art contest and lesson plans were publicized at the Kansas Homeschool Conventions, the Kansas State Fair, various agriculture-related conferences, and at all educational gatherings attended by the Kansas Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom.
In addition, mailings of brochures were made to schools. The Rolling Down the River Festival on October 4 & 5, 2003, included an opportunity for students to create an artwork for the contest. Art contest entries were due by February 9, 2004, and selections for publication were made by Feb. 15.
Eight postcards were published in a limited edition and made available with a suggested donation of $10.00. Contest winners were recognized by the Governor, the Kansas Water Office, and the Kansas Dept. of Agriculture. Each child received a savings bond and postcard sets for his/her classmates.