Ellie is a 5th grader in Mrs. Voss' class. She and her classmates were
surprised Thursday morning to learn that they were the winners of the Cal Water
H2O challenge. More than 70 California 4th through 6th grade classes entered a
water conservation project to the challenge. Only one was chosen to win.
"I just got some late breaking news...your class actually won the prize,"
said Marty Kropelnicki, the Cal Water President and CEO.
The announcement came in what Shasta Elementary School's student body thought
was an Earth Day assembly. The Principal organized the event with Cal Water
executives. The students and staff had no idea.
"I didn't think we were gonna win, even though we tried really hard,"
The classes winning project was a rain collection system that collects rain
water in a bin in their "Children's Garden".
"This is an amazing class," said teacher Kelli Voss. "They're very unique.
Each one has something to bring and something to offer to the table. But they
are very cooperative. They work really well together and so this was the perfect
type of learning project for them."
The students learned about the water cycle and the state drought and put
their lessons to work for their project. They created a way to store rain water
runoff and use it to water their garden. They've been using the system as the
sole source of water for their patch since February.
"One of the cool things about it is after this class graduates and moves onto
the next class, the garden and the rain water collection system stays here,"
explained Kropelnicki. "So it becomes a living part of the school."
As for what's next for the class? They're ready for their winning grand
prize: an all-expenses paid trip to the Chanel Islands National Park. Their trip
is scheduled for the last week of April. They will participate in an
environmental science education program while they are there.