The Sauk River Watershed District (SRWD)
held it's annual fall WaterFest October 2 and 3. This is the fourth year in a row that HEI's team has participated in the Fall WaterFest, teaching the kids about the water cycle and keeping our water clean. Greg Bowles, Drew Kessler, and Laura Kaihoi presented experiments that the kids could try at home (with a little help from mom and dad, of course).
Greg and Drew kicked off the presentation by testing out the kids' knowledge of the water cycle, which is taught in fourth grade. From there they explained what runoff is and how it can lead to impaired water quality by picking up dirt, leaves, garbage, etc. on its way to our water bodies. To clean up this runoff, the team explained how different technologies—such as charcoal, woodchips, rocks, and sand—can filter out pollutants before reaching lakes and rivers. The kids got to vote on which technology would clean up the water best through our homemade water filters.
The WaterFest is typically held outside at Millstream Park. However, due to the cold and rainy weather the event was moved to the College of St. Benedict's fieldhouse. Our team usually ends the presentations with a drone flight, but had to change gears with the new location. Instead, Laura taught the kids about air pressure and evaporation and how this leads to clouds building in the sky.
The most exciting part of the day was the cloud in a bottle. With a little bit of rubbing alcohol and a whole lot of air pressure, Drew and Greg made a cloud appear out of (almost) thin air! This experiment's shock factors was helped by a loud bang as air escapes the bottle and the cloud forms.
Thanks to the SRWD for all the work they do to make these WaterFests a success!