Conserving Missouri’s Aquatic Ecosystems

>>Being a kid is not easy. Some people say we’re slackers
and pathetic. That we don’t care
about anything. Others say the world is a mess and my generation isn’t up to
the challenge of cleaning it up. Those people are wrong! We only have one planet,
it’s not like earth 2, but see, and if we trash it
you don’t get a second chance.>>Still waiting for a few
people for their eyes up here.>>We spend a lot of time
in class talking about stuff: the ozone layer,
saving the whales, we’re all concerned
about the environment. I mean like we’ve got to live
here for a long time; right?>>I think anybody feels good about actually being able
to do something. I think that anytime you can
give someone the tools to make change they’re
willing to give it a try.>>There’s a lot to know
about water. We talked about water chemistry,
water cycles, and how watersheds work. We learned there
was a lot more to water than we ever imagined. Best of all, we learned we
were going to get our feet wet.>>This is the fun part.>>Yeah, this is controlled
chaos is what we call it. It is exhilarating
when the buses show up. Kids are getting off the buses
and they’re excited and that excitement
rubs off on us.>>I think it’s very important for kids to get hands-on
in their environment because unless they can actually
get involved in living within their environment,
their watershed, their stream there’s no other way I think
that they can really understand the connectedness between
their front yard and a stream
that may be miles away.>>The field trip
part of the curriculum takes it a step further, of
course, this is a progression. We want to get the students
involved actually in the stream. We want them to be in touch
with the animal life and plant life
that lives in a stream and that is dependent
on clean water.>>I think students are engaged
in a setting like this. They’re right on the water, they’re able to connect
with that resource, that’s important
for students to be able to not only learn from books,
but in an experiential way.>>So we’re going to learn
a little about water quality here. (music)>>Every unit that
we have taught this year in some way we’ve tried to
make it a real life issue using the environmental
education as our thread kind of that has gone
throughout the year. So everything the kids
are doing today has something to do with
a prior learning experience they’ve had in the classroom.>>I think it’s better working
out here than in a classroom.>>I think you learn a lot
better when you’re having fun. (music)>>It’s amazing, but a creek looks different
when your feet are wet. You notice more,
see more, feel more.>>What’s happening is the kids
are getting a chance to see how much fun it is
to be outside to learn, learning can be fun
and being outside is fun and learn
about aquatic education.>>I think one
of the biggest impacts we’re having is the seed that’s
being planted with the kids involved with the program because this is all going
to be second nature to them by the time they’re adults
and voting and making decisions on what happens in their
backyard and in their watershed. And if we can make
a difference through them, the next generation,
we might not be dealing with as many
of these problems in the future.>>I’m not going to make
a difference in the rain forest, it’s too far away. I live in Kansas City,
I work here, my children are here,
my family is here. I can make a big difference
right here in our water. And it’s huge, it’s huge. .

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