Change the World with Clean Water

The Water for the World (W4TW) program is an incredible collaboration between National Engineering Month (NEM), the Toronto Public Library (TPL) and Engineers of Tomorrow and Engineers Without Borders (EWB). W4TW empowers youth to tackle the challenge of access to clean water throughout NEM 2019!

Did you know that around 1.8 BILLION people globally use contaminated sources of drinking water?

W4TW was created by the Professional Chapter of EWB, as a way to ensure not only was there an opportunity to educate on the issue of access to clean water but also ways to come to solutions. The workshops highlight how engineering and science can help solve problems like access to clean water and help students build an understanding of what engineering can look like first-hand.

Workshops challenge students to filter water from the perspective of an assigned country. Instructions are modified to reflect the country’s literacy rate, as illustrated by this sheet with missing information.

Water for the World aims to educate students in grades 7 and 8 on issues surrounding global access to clean water. The workshops provide hands-on experiences that challenge students to collaborate on water filtering activities, engage their creativity, resourcefulness and critical thinking.

Janelle de Vries, Vice President of W4TW appreciates the sharp minds of grade 7 and 8 students because “at that age you really feel like you can make a difference and that problems are solvable. Kids work more creatively and collaboratively than adults, leading to some very innovative solutions,” she said. It’s important to acknowledge that contaminated drinking water is not only a global issue, but also a local one! Many Indigenous communities across Canada don’t have access to safe drinking water, like the community of Kashechewan in Northern Ontario or Six Nations reserve (just a 30-minute drive away from Hamilton). De Vries says that students who attend workshops for the first time may have never thought of access to clean water before. If they wanted a drink they went to the tap and that’s-that! From De Vries’ experience, students are incredibly moved when they learn about contaminated water in communities, they empathize deeply and are inspired to create change.

After students create a water filtering technology, their filtered water is tested!

W4TW inspires youth to be active global citizens and volunteers play a key role in making this work possible. W4TW is looking to add to their incredible team of volunteers! They want to work with engineers, technologists and folks who are passionate about water accessibility, international development, poverty reduction and social justice! Welcoming anyone looking to build on mentorship and presentation skills and those excited by the thought of engaging with brilliant youth. Apply by the 21st of January to be part of the team

For more information visit the Water for the World website!