MILTON — Historically, Delmarva Christian Schools Milton Campus hosts an annual Science Carnival for its kindergarten through 8th-grade students and their families; however, with COVID-19 restrictions this year, the event had to be canceled resulting in DCMC Middle School science teacher Julie Eckels looking to find an alternative plan.
She contacted previous DCMC Principal John Sadler, who is now employed with World Vision International, to see what educational programs his organization might be able to provide.
It was through their conversations that Miss Eckels learned that World Vision, the largest nongovernmental organization providing access to clean water, hosts an annual global drive known as “Water Day” that includes numerous activities for participants. Immediately, Miss Eckels realized how she could combine these activities with her science lessons to provide an enriching experience for her young students.
Using resources provided by Mr. Sadler, Miss Eckels created a comprehensive program to include scientific discoveries as well as weeklong challenges all culminating into a one-day, school-wide “Water Day” event.
Students have already begun previewing informational videos learning about the large number of people globally who do not have access to clean water, and the high mortality rate of children exposed to dirty water. Additionally, depending on their grade level, DCMC students are learning how to calculate their own daily water use, the best practices in conserving water, the types of microorganisms that contaminate water, the water purification process, and how to construct a ‘tip-tap’ – a hand-washing structure that prevents the spread of disease.
“Water Day” activities officially kick-off on March 3, during the school’s Chapel services when middle school students will receive photos of “sponsor children” attached to lanyards. The goal is to have the DCMC middle school students wear the lanyards for a week focusing and praying for their specific sponsor child while engaging in a series of challenges and activities. Younger DCMC students will pray for all the “sponsor children” as a collective group.
The series of challenges that will be presented throughout the seven-day period include skipping snacks, drinking only water, sleeping on the floor, wearing the same clothes for two days, and providing comfort to someone in distress.
Concluding the program is the final “Water Day” event scheduled for Wednesday, March 11.
On this day, students in kindergarten through 5th grade will remain on campus and move through a series of stations focusing on and learning about the causes and effects of dirty water while middle school stu-ents in grades 6 through 8 will travel to downtown Milton to a pre-determined site.
Once they arrive, the middle school students will grab an empty bucket and walk over 1.5 miles to the Mil-ton boat dock where they will fill their buckets with water, and then walk back carrying their heavy loads. The entire walk will cover 3.7 miles.
The primary objectives leading up to and including “Water Day,” is to grow the students in love for others and the world around them by increasing awareness, modeling empathy, teaching biological principles, and presenting scientific approaches.