GWI is committed to making its research understandable and useful to non-scientists
through informal education and public outreach activities.
A few examples of GWI’s community involvement include the following:
- Participating in conferences, workshops and meetings
- Providing speakers for community groups
- Hosting a table, booth or tent at community events
- Collaborating with museums, nature centers, science centers and similar institutions
to develop exhibits related to water
GWI is also a resource for the K-12 education community. How can K-12 teachers and
students benefit from GWI’s offerings?
- Workshops help teachers become more confident when teaching about water science by
giving them current science that’s localized along with interactive activities and
information that correlate with state and national standards
- Classroom visits and demonstrations can foster an interest in science, technology,
engineering and math in K-12 students
- High school internships with GWI offer students an opportunity to explore engineering
and water science in a supportive environment
For more information, please contact GWI by calling 901/678-4229 or emailing.
Recent Outreach Activities
GWI Debuts the Water on Wheels (WOW) Mobile April 2014
The Water on Wheels (WOW) mobile debuted April 17, 2014 at the University of Memphis's Earth Day Festival and was met with enthusiasm from visitors of all ages, including all of the students
from the university's Campus School in grades 1st through 5th, as well as university
students, staff and faculty.
The WOW is an educational component of the GWI designed to teach visitors of all ages
about the source of Memphis's drinking water, the Memphis aquifer system, as well
as other facets related to water and its necessity for all living things.
Inside the WOW, visitors interacted with displays related to the Memphis aquifer system,
the water cycle, virtual water usage, watersheds, and home water usage. Another display
informed visitors about the difference between our storm water sewer and sanitary
GWI faculty, staff and students were on hand to answer questions and demonstrate how
the Memphis aquifer system works.
The WOW was also at the Shelby Farms Down to Earth Festival on April 19, and the Memphis Botanic Garden's Earth Day events on April 22 and 26.
The WOW mobile was made possible by a gift from the International Paper Foundation.
For more information about the WOW, including how to request it for public events
and school visits, click here.
DeSoto County Earth Day April 2014
GWI participated in DeSoto County's Annual Earth Day on April 26. Visitors to the GWI booth were interested in learning more about the
source of their drinking water and how they could preserve and protect their water.
Scott Schoefernacker, GWI's Senior Research Scientist, was on hand to answer questions.
Green Intern Assists with Water Conservation Exhibit at the Dixon Gallery & Gardens
In the spring of 2014, and for the third year, GWI mentored a Green Intern as part
of the Green Internship program through the university's Office of Academic Internships.
Undergraduate earth sciences major Katie Dagastino sought out this internship due
to her interests in geology and sustainability.
While interning, Ms. Dagastino learned about the geology of Memphis's drinking water
and then applied this learning to further GWI's education and outreach efforts.
Ms. Dagastino participated in a variety of experiences that were designed to enhance
her education as well as provide her with opportunities for professional growth.
As part of her internship, she worked with K-12 students to create an aquifer model
for display at the Dixon Gallery & Gardens as part of a water conservation exhibit. By building a model of the Memphis aquifer
system, the students could better understand how the aquifer system works visually
Water Workshop for Teachers
In February 2014, GWI assisted the Wolf River Conservancy in conducting a workshop on water at Camp Pinecrest for 20 K-12 teachers and informal educators.
Workshop participants learned about GWI's research being done at Camp Pinecrest and
were taken on a walking tour of the different research sites.
Camp Pinecrest is located in Fayette County, which is the recharge area for the Memphis
Annual U of M Green Awareness Day
For the 5th year in a row, GWI participated in the annual Tiger Blue Goes Green, a campus event that is open to the public and designed to increase awareness about
sustainable technologies. The event was October 8, 2013. GWI's table featured educational
displays and information, and staff was on hand to answer questions about the Memphis
aquifer system, groundwater, and GWI research.
Mark your calendar for Tuesday, October 7, 2014 to attend the next Tiger Blue Goes Green event and see the Water on Wheels (WOW) mobile.
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GWI Helps to Create the Buckman Water Science Trail at Lichterman Nature Center
The Pink Palace Museum collaborated with GWI to create educational panels for Mertie’s Lake at Lichterman Nature Center. The result of this collaboration is the Buckman Water Science Trail, which features
six outdoor panels focusing on water science and the role water has played in the history and development
of Memphis. GWI helped to provide the text and images on the panels.
The Buckman family made the project possible to honor Mertie Buckman, a Memphis philanthropist
who passed away in 1999. The Buckman Water Science Trail dedication took place on
June 4, 2011, to honor Mertie Buckman’s commitment to environmental stewardship, especially
with regard to water. GWI’s Interim Director, Dr. Brian Waldron, spoke at the dedication.
To read his speech, click here.
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Annual Engineering Open House
GWI participated in the annual Engineering Open House (E-Day) hosted by the Herff College of Engineering. Nearly 1,000 middle and high
school students participate in the event designed to celebrate engineering education
and the engineering profession. GWI demonstrated a model that illustrates surface
water and groundwater interaction by showing a stream gaining and losing water and
the effects it could have on its environment. October 24 is the date for the 2014
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