Wonderful World of Water program celebrates 30 years

The 30th Anniversary of the Wonderful World of Water Festival was held September 18 at Gilman Park in Pierce.  Eighteen teams of ninth and tenth grade students from 11 schools across Northeast Nebraska descended upon the park for a day of outdoor hands on activities and a chance to compete for championship honors. 

The day began with registration at Gilman Park followed by the teams competing in a track of hands-on activities focusing on water quality and other natural resources related issues.  The teams were then quizzed regarding those sessions to accumulate points for the competition.  Following the educational sessions, the teams were given one last chance to extend their point totals by participating in the Dripial Pursuit Trivia Game.  Then while the final totals were being calculated each team was given the opportunity to participate in the Wonderful World of Water special project.

The special project was Water Rockets, which is, a program taught through the Jr. Academy of Sciences.  Each school was invited to build water rockets and demonstrate their knowledge of mass, velocity and engineering.  The rockets were judged on distance and creativity.  Several rockets were launched Wednesday with prizes being awarded to Pierce High School Team 2 for Farthest Distance Traveled; Allen High School Team 2 for Shortest Distance Traveled; and, Elgin High School for Most Creative Design.    

Following the presentation of the special projects the winners of the 2019 Northeast Nebraska Wonderful World of Water were announced.  The winner of Track 1 was Winside High School consisting of DeAndre Redwing, Jake Bargstadt, Tyler Carlson, McKenna Russell, Michah Stenwall and Dax Behmer.  The winning team from Track 2 was Pierce High School Team 2 consisting of Zach Price, Nich Erickson, Alexus Sindelar, Larissa Meier and Nicholas Lienemann.  Both First Place teams were awarded 30th Anniversary Wonderful World of Water T-shirts.   

Schools participating in this year’s event included; Orchard High School, Niobrara High School, Pierce High School, Elgin High School, Wausa High School, Allen Consolidated, Winside High School, Ewing High School, Norfolk Catholic High School, Lyons-Decatur High School and Madison High School. 

The Wonderful World of Water program would not be possible without our many natural resources professionals from across the area who volunteer their time each year to share their expertise; and, work with students who might be interested in a career related to natural resources.  They come from a variety of agencies including:  The Natural Resources Conservation Service; UNL Cooperative Extension; Game and Parks; Northern Prairies Land Trust; Papio-Missouri River NRD; and, Lower Platte North NRD.  The Wonderful World of Water was sponsored this year by:  the Upper Elkhorn NRD; Lower Elkhorn NRD; Lower Niobrara NRD; Lewis and Clark NRD; and, Nucor.

Jason Thiele, Wildlife Biologist with the Nebraska Game & Parks Commission, and Patrick Cowsert, Soil Scientist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, visit with students about the importance of wetland plants and animals as they examine portions of Gilman Park in Pierce. Eleven High Schools were represented at the 30th Anniversary of   Wonderful World of Water  , a competition for 9th and 10th graders.

Jason Thiele, Wildlife Biologist with the Nebraska Game & Parks Commission, and Patrick Cowsert, Soil Scientist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, visit with students about the importance of wetland plants and animals as they examine portions of Gilman Park in Pierce. Eleven High Schools were represented at the 30th Anniversary of Wonderful World of Water, a competition for 9th and 10th graders.