Downtown Rotary members shared the “Incredible Journey” of the water cycle with over 550 4th graders from all over Topeka and Shawnee County on September 17th at Garfield Park Community Center.  The day began with the ultimate example of the water cycle as a brief but powerful thunderstorm pummeled the park and we quickly regrouped on how we would roll out our two learning stations.  We moved to the concrete and the gazebo and hosted to the stations from there.  The students were none the wiser but we did have the opportunity for the first couple of groups to start with everyone’s personal experience with the water cycle in the form of “precipitation”.  As each student was handed a string with a yellow bead on it and were invited to go on a journey and imagine they were a water molecule.  Students rolled die and began their journey.  Some spent several rolls in the clouds while others visited plants, animals, and lake stations picking up beads at each station.  At the end students were encouraged to share with the group their journey and then make the bead chains into bracelets.  The journeys are all unique and fun and students learn about precipitation, condensation, evaporation and storage but more importantly they learn how vital water is to our earth.
The event is sponsored by The Topeka Water Festival Planning Committee and the Kansas Association of Conservation and Environmental Education (KACEE). 
I personally want to thank Bryan Falk, Ken Keller, Brendan Wiley, Roger Aeschliman, Mike Kuner, Lee Morris, Gary Shofner and Joanie Underwood. Each shared their knowledge, enthusiasm and commitment to learning with each of the students.  It was truly service above self through the rain and through the heat.
Marie Pyko