Story shared by Jack Kincus
While serving as an EarthEcho Water Challenge Ambassador, I had the opportunity to monitor local waterways like the Indian River Lagoon, the most biologically diverse estuary in North America. Once I began to test water and continued to learn more about my local waterway, I felt compelled to educate people in my area about the lagoon and how it was being impacted by human actions. With some help from EarthEcho and fellow Water Challenge Ambassadors Katie Croom and John Atwater, I was able to make this happen.
Through my role, I was responsible for holding an event which correlated with World Water Monitoring Day and educated people about their local waterways through the EarthEcho Water Challenge. For my event, I chose to hold a presentation at my high school. I felt like a school presentation would be an effective way to spread my message because with a school presentation there is a guaranteed turn out and in my school community, most people already had some background knowledge about the Indian River Lagoon.
The idea of a “guaranteed turnout” might seem a little bit negative due to the fact that students attending didn’t really choose to come to the presentation. However, I thought that it was important for all of the students to hear the information about water quality. In the end, this guaranteed turnout concept did pay off. I know this because students who had not expressed any prior interest in water monitoring or conserving water quality approached me to get more information. We even had two students borrow some testing materials to do some testing on their own.
If you plan on holding an event of your own, on the topic of water quality and conservation, it may seem very difficult at first. But just know that with the right planning and approach to your event, you can make a real impact in your community.
How to Take Action:
You can organize your own school assembly presentation to teach your peers about water conservation! Here are some tips from Jack to help you get started:
1) Contact necessary people. This may include teachers, administration, or a student body president. Most likely these people will give you a date or set of dates for your presentation.
2) If you haven't already, decide what information you would like to present to your audience and what your message will be. You can review EarthEcho Water Challenge resources for ideas.
3) Find a way to make your message and information understandable by others who may be unfamiliar with the topic of water quality/conservation. It’s also good to show people how these issues impact their personal lives.
4) Use visuals and resources to accompany your presentation! These resources may include a PowerPoint to go along with what you are saying or maybe a demonstration. This extra addition to your presentation keeps it from becoming a speech which many students may find bland.
5) Practice your presentation in the days leading up to the event! You may feel uncomfortable talking to large groups but if you know your topic and information well, it just takes some courage!
Share highlights from your presentation with us on social media using hashtag #MonitorWater!
Jack Kincus is a high school student and a Senior EarthEcho Water Challenge Ambassador from Vero Beach, FL.