Who can participate in Cal Water H2O Challenge's Classroom Challenge?
Public or Private California classrooms, grades 4-6 in a Cal Water service area are eligible to participate.
I don't know if my school is in a Cal Water service area. How do I find out?
Scan our list of eligible schools.
I don't see my school listed but we are in a Cal Water service area. What should I do?
Please check your school address on the Cal Water service area map or Contact Us with your school information and we can verify your eligibility status.
Can combination classes participate?
Yes. We accept combination classes for grades 3/4, 4/5, 5/6 or larger combinations including: 3/4/5, 4/5/6, or 3/4/5/6 combo classes.
I have multiple classes. Can I register more than one classroom?
You can register as many classrooms as you like but you can only register one classroom per each registration form. You will need to go through the registration process again for additional classrooms.
Can multiple classrooms compete as one team?
No. Each classroom should have a separate team name and will be competing as separate teams in the competition.
I teach a home-school classroom. Can my class participate?
Absolutely. If you teach a grade 4-6 class in a Cal Water service area, then you can participate.
Why participate in Cal Water H2O Challenge's Classroom Challenge?
Involving your students in the Cal Water H2O Challenge's Classroom Challenge not only teaches them to understand water as a local and global resource, but also encourages social responsibility and engages your student as active agents in their community.
How much time do I need for Cal Water H2O Challenge's Classroom Challenge?
A project can be completed in 4-8 weeks, although you can opt to spend longer on the project depending on your classroom schedule. As the competition follows a project-based learning model and incorporates both Common Core State Standards for ELA and Math, and is complementary to the Next Generation Science Standards, it is possible to fill your day with activities around the project and to focus on it for the school year. However, this is not required. Your project submission will be due February 28th, 2023, even if you choose to continue your project beyond that date.
How does Cal Water H2O Challenge's Classroom Challenge align with the standards?
The competition has been designed with the standards in mind from the beginning. With the help of WestEd / K-12 Alliance, a handbook and lesson plans have been designed to align with Common Core State Standards and complement the Next Generation Science Standards. Following the example project flow, projects can meet standards in reading, vocabulary, research, writing, oral-speaking, science, social studies, and math, while also inspiring students to be active agents of change and to protect our water for future generations.
For a thorough review of how the Classroom Challenge can align with the standards, please check out the curriculum integration section of our handbook PDF or Google Doc, or explore the curriculum integration section of our new Canvas course. Canvas access is granted after registration.
Are there resources that can help guide the project?
Absolutely, we provide many teacher resources, including a competition handbook (PDF or Google Doc), inclusive of curriculum integration tips, sample topics, and our competition rubric. We are offering a Canvas course with tailored tips per your grade level. Additionally, our Teacher Ambassadors have office hours open to help support your Classroom Challenge. You can find our resources on the resources page.
What is the portfolio?
The portfolio is a classroom's final submission to Cal Water H2O Challenge's Classroom Challenge. The portfolio will cover:
- The Goals of Your Project
- Your Research
- Your Actions to Solve a Local Water Problem/Concern
- Your Community Outreach Effort
- Student Reflections on Growth in:
- Environmental Stewardship
- Teacher Reflection on Student Growth in:
- Classroom Culture
A sample portfolio can be found in resources to help with your portfolio planning.
Can persons outside of the classroom be involved in the project?
Yes. We encourage classrooms to engage their families and community. However, the project itself must be driven by the students.
What are the prizes for the competition?
Cal Water will acknowledge all classroom participants (teachers and students) that submit a final portfolio. Exact prizes can vary. Please see our prizes page for more details.
When do I start my Cal Water H2O Classroom Challenge?
You may begin the Challenge as soon as you register. This can be in September or it can be in January or anywhere in between; as long as you register by the registration deadline, you may begin and conduct your project on your own schedule. Please remember all portfolios will be due on February 28, 2023.
How do I register for the competition?
Registration is simple and can be completed online. Head to our Registration Page, review and accept the competition terms and conditions, then fill out and submit the registration form.
What is the registration deadline?
There are two separate registration deadlines.
The first registration deadline, the early registration deadline, is December 31, 2022. Registration by this date enters you into a drawing for one of twenty $500 classroom grants.
The second registration deadline, the final registration deadline, is January 31, 2023. Registrants who register after December 31, 2022 will not be eligible for one of the $500 grants.
Am I registered?
Upon completing the reigstartion process, you will receive a confirmation email. If you have registered and have not recieved a confirmation email, please contact us immediately.
I'm looking for a class speaker. Where can I find a water expert?
Try nearby universities, museums and antuer centers. Local professors, retired naturalists/scientists, and naturalists from non-profit organizations and local nature centers can be amazing resources!
What additional resources are available for help with the project?
DoGoodery is also offering multiple $500 grants that will be distributed by random selection to registrants that register by the early registration deadline of December 31, 2022. Any registrant that accepts these funds must commit to submitting a project by the deadline of February 28, 2023.
How do I qualify for a grant?
To be eligible for a grant, your classroom must complete registration by December 31, 2022, 11:59 PM PDT. Grants will be distributed by a random drawing from all registrants. Additionally any registrant that accepts these funds must commit to submitting a project by the submission deadline of February 28, 2023.
Does our project need to be approved in advance?
There is no need to have your project approved by Cal Water in advance. However, it is important that you have your principal's approval for your participation in the competition.
What should the project be about?
This year’s Cal Water H2O Challenge theme focuses on the drought conditions in California. While we encourage drought-related projects, we also greatly appreciate projects around other local water issues. Tackling water issues other than the drought will not affect the evaluation of submitted projects.
Other sample topics include issues around water conservation and water quality, but projects are not limited to these areas. The project topic is up to your class. It must focus on caring for water, but the specific topic has no limit. Be creative. Originality is encouraged.
Perhaps your design will be a way to keep garbage out of the storm drains and prevent it from traveling to the ocean. Maybe your students will design a way to clean up a local creek or waterway. Your students may even create an engineering design for testing or cleaning water on campus. Whatever your students choose to do, we look forward to seeing how they plan to care for water!
If you prefer a reference some sample topics can be found in the handbook in the resources section.
How do I create a portfolio?
The Cal Water H2O Challenge's Classroom Challenge will allow your students to use technology to create their portfolios. They may use: PowerPoint, Keynote, Presenter, or Prezi. Are you considering a different technology platform for your portfolio? Contact us and let us know.
Hand-made, paper portfolios will also be accepted.
Who can create the portfolio?
While teachers and adults can assist with instruction, guidance, and material support, the portfolio itself must be created by the students.
What media can be included in the portfolio?
The portfolio can include pictures, videos, site links, articles, written letters, etc. - anything that your class made or that spotlights your project work.
Where can I find the supporting materials?
The cover sheets, teacher reflection, and student reflection forms can be found in the handbook on the Resources Page.
How long should the teacher reflection be?
The teacher reflection should be no more than 1,200 words.
How do I submit my portfolio?
Your portfolio may be submitted via email or a fileshare program of your choice. For specifics, read the submission guide, which includes appropriate emails and contact information for troubleshooting.
With a paper portfolio, please mail your portfolio to:
Cal Water H2O Challenge
ATTN: Conservation Department
2632 West 237th Street
Torrance, CA 90505
Be sure to include paper copies of all supplementary materials. They will not count against your page count.
What is the Registration Deadline?
There are two separate registration deadlines.
The first registration deadline, the early registration deadline, is December 31, 2022. Registration by this date enters you into a drawing for one of multiple $500 classroom grants.
The second registration deadline, the final registration deadline, is January 31, 2023, but registrants who register after December 31, 2022 will not be eligible for one of the $500 grants.
When are project submissions due?
Project submissions must be received by February 28, 2023 11:59 pm PDT.