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The Classroom Challenge is no longer active,
but this site subsection with the former program's handbook, resources, and web series remains available as our Teacher Toolkit to help you tackle your local water issues!

Congratulations to our 2015-2016 participating classrooms!

We received many excellent submissions this year from classrooms throughout California. Once again our team is proud of the amazing work and dedication demonstrated statewide from each and every participating classroom. Thank you for doing your part to care for California’s water!

Learn about our winning classrooms below!

Curious about past winning classrooms?


Grand Prize Downtown Elementary

PROJECT TITLE: Greywater As an Alternative Water Source

TEACHER NAME: Rachel Lenix

CITY: Bakersfield


Understanding the high percentage of local water usage attributed to watering lawns, sixth graders from Downtown Elementary School were inspired to seek an alternative that could reduce this usage. To this end, they designed and conducted an experiment to test the impact of greywater on lawns versus freshwater. Students demonstrated the advantages of using a 50/50 greywater/freshwater mix as an alternative water source for keeping lawns green while meeting State-mandated water conservation targets. As a part of the project, the class designed and built plant boxes for the experiment’s sod, including a freshwater control and three variations using different percentages of greywater in order to find the most ideal substitute. Students also created brochures and a presentation board to spread conservation awareness in their school and community.

Water Wise

Second Place Murdock Elementary

PROJECT TITLE: Water Wise...Because Every Drop Counts

TEACHER NAME: Mike Buckley

CITY: Willows


Mr. Mike Buckley’s fifth graders made sure that every drop of water counted for their school’s 7,500-square-foot garden of native and food-growing plants. Students researched, designed, and built a rain collection system for their school garden, added 22 new native plants, and installed a timed watering system. The class also produced a series of water-saving videos for YouTube that demonstrated water saving strategies for showering, washing hands, and brushing teeth. Inspired by the local drought, each of these works was undertaken in an effort to turn water-saving behaviors into water-saving habits, and to influence Murdock Elementary and the surrounding community to practice water conservation habits.

Solution to Pollution

Third Place Murdock Elementary

PROJECT TITLE: The Solution to Pollution

TEACHER NAME: Jennipher Dace

CITY: Willows


These fifth graders, under the guidance of their teacher Jennipher Dace, led a campaign that banned the use of plastic water bottles on the school campus, and donated the proceeds from the sale of reusable water bottles to support organizations that provide clean drinking water to Third World countries. Additionally, the classroom administered a water pollution survey to their community, designed the water bottles that they sold at their school, wrote letters to local grocery stores requesting a ban on plastic bags, and wrote a letter to a local newspaper urging community members to properly dispose of used motor oil. Each action taken from the students was inspired by their research into water pollution and their decision to focus on problems created from five pollutants: trash, raw sewage, acid rain, chemicals and fertilizers, and oil pollution.

Save Our Water

Fourth Place Shannon Ranch Elementary


TEACHER NAME: Athena Weddle

CITY: Visalia


These students, with guidance from their teacher Athena Weddle, designed, printed, and distributed a pamphlet to approximately 1,000 households within the Shannon Ranch neighborhood explaining local water issues and water conservation strategies. In preparing their campaign the class researched local water issues and conservation strategies, while engaging local experts, including a water conservation coordinator, the manager of the Ivanhoe and Exeter water irrigation district, and a senior engineer for the Kaweah Delta water conservation district.