Eighth-graders dip into hands-on learning
Eighth-grade students in Haywood County have been soaking in water knowledge this week while they participated in the 17th annual Kids in the Creek program at the Canton Recreation Center.
With over 600 students, plus teachers and local and regional instructors, Kids in the Creek is a one-of-a-kind program in the county and is one of Haywood Waterway’s most important educational programs.
During the program, students rotate through four stations: fish, benthic (bottom dwelling) insects, water chemistry and the Enviroscape watershed demonstration. Students learned about a variety of methods to evaluate water quality and the ecological interactions that occur within a watershed.
The Kids in the Creek program, which started in 1997, focuses on exposing all eighth-grade students to a hands-on water quality activity and training. Each year hundreds of students spend about six hours in the Kids in The Creek program.
Eric Romaniszyn, director of Haywood County Waterways, said the program gave students a hands-on experience they otherwise my never have had.
“It gives them experience and an appreciation to what lives in the water and what you need clean water for,” Romanizszyn said. “We try to reach them at a young age so that these things that they learn, they can carry them with them for the rest of their life.”
Lee Ann Davis, an eighth-grade teacher at Canton Middle School, said bringing her class to Kids in the Creek reminded her of how much fun she had when she participated in the same program several years ago.
“I can see that I appreciate the information a little more now than when I was a students,” Davis said with a laugh. “But it’s nice to see the kids out there appreciating it now. I think it helps them actively learn about the environment versus an actual lecture. They will take a lot more away from an actual experience.”