Answering questions about the world’s water security problems
Global water awareness and future water security happens locally—one student, one teacher, and one lesson at a time.Often we hear that better thinking is needed to address particularly prickly societal problems, business challenges, or scientific conundrums. ThinkWater is a national project supported by a $900,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). The project is designed by educators, scientists, and activists in partnership with the University of Wisconsin Extension to add thinking skills and awareness into existing water education lessons.
The foundation of ThinkWater is that meta-thinking on the topic of water—the art of asking why and attempting to look beyond what you see on the surface—will build greater understanding, caring, and behavior change. ThinkWater focuses on a scalable solution: a water study platform on which the best lessons rise to the top because they are developed by the crowd, shared globally, evolved through use, and endorsed by the crowd. It takes existing water education resources and takes them to the next level—engaging students by doing less of the “what we know” and more of the “how to know.”
Want to know more? There’s an amazing online course for water educators to learn how to get students of all ages—from pre-K to college—to care about, think about, and build a deep understanding of water issues and ideas.
ThinkWater is just one of the water-related projects that NIFA supports. NIFA offered the Water for Agriculture challenge area as part of the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative for the first time in 2014 with $30 million available in funding over the next five years. An announcement of grantees will be made this spring.
Through federal funding and leadership for research, education, and extension programs, NIFA focuses on investing in science and solving critical issues impacting people's daily lives and the nation's future. For more information, visit www.nifa.usda.gov.