"Earlier this year, Aurora Water education team members presented three programs including 'We all live downstream' to Crystal Burman’s fourth grade class at Fulton Academy of Excellence in Aurora. In the presentations, kids learn about the watersheds where Aurora’s water comes from and how to protect it from pollution. The presentations galvanized the fourth grade class to further action as part of the school’s project-based learning programs.
'The purpose of the project-based learning programs is for kids to learn about how to impact our world and make a change,' said Fulton principal Dawn McWilliams. 'We began project-based learning programs as just a one-week project at the end of the school year,' said McWilliams. 'For the new school year, these programs were expanded to each class devoting an hour a week to look at an issue through either a science or a social studies lens. Project-based learning is now a part of the new civic standards in social studies.'
'We asked the kids, ‘what do you see in the neighborhood where they would want to make a change?’ We wanted them to focus on something they saw that was important to them,' said Burman. After noticing the frequent dog waste on the soccer field at nearby Fulton Park, the class finally settled on dog waste. An icky issue where fourth-graders can repeatedly say 'poop?' They were sold."