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School of splash

LIHUE — Some school assignments are all wet.

No better example of that than the one on Thursday when more than 700 students from fifth-grade classes around the island converged for a day of water education through 10 stations at the Pua Loke Arboretum.

“I think this is a great opportunity for students to learn about water awareness because it features lots of inter-active, hands-on activities,” said Farrah Krovoza, a fifth-grade teacher from Kilauea Elementary School.

Make A Splash with Project WET is hosted by the Department of Water.

Kapaa High School JrROTC had 35 cadets volunteer as tour leaders and instructors at the park next to the DOW building.

“I didn’t know about the plants and ground water when I started,” said Alexis Ochoa, a JrROTC cadet serving her third year as a volunteer. “I was reading about what I needed to do and when I saw those items, I didn’t know anything about it, but I told myself, ‘This is something I should know.’ When I took biology and the teacher started talking about it, I said, ‘Wow! I already learned this.’”

Laurie Ho, president of the Kauai County Farm Bureau as well as a DOW board member, said the event creates an awareness of water issues and the need to protect and conserve water.

“I love it,” she said.

Shelley Gerardo of the Kukuiula Development Company also had six volunteers helping.

“This gives kids a fun way to learn,” Gerardo said. “Why does the water stick to windshields? It’s about adhesion and cohesion — just a good way to learn about things in everyday life.”

Krovoza said there are a lot of resources to gain from the event.

“I got one of the filtration kits and a soil testing kit last year,” said Melanie Slimko, a fifth-grade teacher from St. Catherine’s School. “On an island such as ours, it is extremely important for water conservation.”

And it got kids out of the classroom.

“They need to breathe,” Ho said. “When I was their age, it was like the Charlie Brown cartoon where the teacher said, ‘Wah, wah, wah.’ You need to get out and breathe.”

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