40 junior high school students from Chiang Khong Kindergarten School participated in learning to measure simple water quality at Mekong School
Activity Date: November 1, 2022
On the first of November, 40 junior high school students from Chiang Khong Kindergarten school, along with the school’s director Mr. Wayuwat Chaiwana, two secondary school teachers, and the Mekong School team participated in the activities of The Elders Storytelling Activity: Youth to “Paint their Dreams”.
At 9:00 a.m. Khru Tee (Niwat Roykaew), the director of Mekong School: Institute of Local Knowledge opened the event and spoke to the children. He described the impact and changes from developments in the Mekong River, saying that “since having the first dam on the upper Mekong River in 1996, the problem of cross-border impacts has increased until today, causing extensive ecosystem change. The sediments that bring fertility to the Mekong River is lost, because they are confined in the basin of the upper dam. The unnatural water management practices cause unseasonal changes in the water level. These problems, as with other environmental problems such as climate change, rivers and rivers, is therefore not just one’s river, but everyone’s. When the world is warming, we are not the only ones who are warming. Right now, we are in the air conditioning room, but we will need to go outside where it is hot. It’s heating up for the trees and the rivers, too. The whole world is warming, so it’s everyone’s business.”
After listening to the lectures, students learned to measure water quality easily through self-observation. The students used a digital water meter and litmus paper to take basic water quality measurements of temperature, pH, and sediment content, as well as learning to work in a group. A total of 4 groups gradually went down to collect water samples and measure water quality at the waterfront of the Mekong School and take the water sample to measure more thoroughly and compare together with other water samples that the students have collected before from the mouth of the Dook River and the mouth of the Som River and present the preliminary measurement results. This process invites the student think about the purpose of analyzing the water samples. When the process concluded, the conversation led to asking students who were interested in this water measurement activity to join in a long-term program by continuing to study and learn by using the project as a base.
In the afternoon session, the students began with some recreation and then brainstormed together to compile their local knowledge on the good things of their home and other local places. They accomplished this by writing on paper and pasting their notes on the Mekong-Ing basin map of Chiang Khong that they had already drafted. After that, the results of their learning on local rivers was presented as art paintings. The activity drew the children’s attention by using a form drawing technique for the students to practice. Then the children were allowed the freedom to communicate, so they can learn to know the river through the drawing that each person made.
The Elders Storytelling Activity: Youth to “Paint their Dreams” is an activity that introduces students to the river near their homes. The students were able to experiment with simple scientific instruments and practiced basic visual communication. If students and schools are interested in studying and learning together. Mekong Youth Program, Chiang Khong Conservation Group, Mekong School: Institue of Local Knowledge will develop river environmental education project together with students and teacher advisors for one academic semester and continue to support the fufillment of those education projects at each school going forward.