The Odyssey Preparatory Academy participated in a celebration for World Water Day 2012. Both the Buckeye and Goodyear campuses had a main ‘water source’ located about 300 yards from the campus gates. Classes who participated in the morning were responsible for filling 5 gallon buckets with water from the hose on campus and carrying it out to the water source (2 kiddie pools). The afternoon classes carried empty 5 gallon buckets out to the water source,filled them up with water,and used the water to hydrate trees and plants on campus. Our goal at each campus was to work as a team to carry water from campus to the water source and back without wasting any of it. The scholars were able to carry and conserve water,and to help our plants grow. However,the true beauty of the simulation was the physical experience of carrying water and relating to the students from our partner school,the Kpaachi Yili Primary School,in Ghana.
The ‘walk for water’ simulation was a success! The scholars were amazed by the inconvenience of having to walk a total of 600 yards in the heat without water bottles. They practiced teamwork and were supportive of each scholar who carried a bucket. They were worried about losing one drop,and adamant about minimizing splashes and holding the bucket carefully. I think the simulation allowed the Odyssey scholars to adopt and ‘attitude of gratitude’ and to gain an appreciation for our easy access to clean water in the United States. When asked which IB Learner Profiles scholars related to through this experience,the most common responses were caring,thinker,and reflective. I can tell many Odyssey scholars care about the people in the Kpaachi Yili Village in Ghana. I observed as they used their critical thinking skills to transfer water from the source to the bucket without wasting any of it. I also noticed many of them were reflective in their conversations with each other. Challenges like the ‘walk for water’ help build character. Character gives scholars a chance to realize the true capacity of what they can do. –Jess Lusin,TOPA Teacher and Water Is Life Team Member