Cal Water H2O Challenge

Enter this free classroom competition teaching kids about water for a chance to win a $3,500 classroom grant!

About the competition

Cal Water H2O Challenge is a project-based, environmentally-focused competition for classrooms (grades 4-6). The students of participating classrooms initiate, develop, and implement a 4-8 week-long project (or longer at teacher discretion), focusing on caring for water. This class-based project explores water as a global resource and as a local resource, while tackling a local water problem in an individual and community-based endeavor.

Upon completion of the project, students create a final portfolio documenting their work. This portfolio, along with accompanying cover sheets, student reflections, and a teacher reflection, constitute the final submission. 

The Grand Prize-winning classroom will receive a tent-camping trip to the Santa Monica Mountains with NatureBridge, a $3,500 grant, and Cal Water prize packs for every student.

Designed in conjunction with NAAEE, the WestEd K-12 Alliance, and Cal Water, and aligned with the Common Core State Standards and complimentary to the Next Generation Science Standards, Cal Water H2O Challenge offers a unique opportunity for upper elementary (grades 4-6) teachers to facilitate their students’ learning of standards-based content, while developing the core understanding of environmental principles necessary to becoming science-literate citizens.

Who is eligible?

Eligible classrooms must be

  • Grades 4, 5, and/or 6
  • Registered by their teacher (final registration deadline is Jan. 31, 2017)
  • Conducting a water-based project
  • Focusing on caring for water (conservation, quality, supply, etc.)
  • Based in a Cal Water Service Area - Check for Your School!


Learn more and register your classroom!

Need help designing a water-related project?

Fresh Solutions icon

Check out the California Academy of Sciences' Flipside Science unit on water use and conservation: Fresh Solutions. In this unit, your students will explore environmental issues and solutions related to our water use, from greywater recycling to smarter irrigation technology.  Prepare your students for the Cal Water H2O Challenge with short videos hosted by youth and accompanying lesson plans. By working through this unit, students learn and practice the steps of design thinking and work towards tackling a water-related design challenge in their school or community.

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