Maumee classroom launches world wide water website

    Some Toledo-area students and their teacher are looking beyond northwest Ohio to get a global perspective on water issues. (David Kuznicki/WNWO)

    MAUMEE, Ohio -- In the wake of Toledo's water troubles, it is easy to think that the issues are fairly localized, but students at Wildwood Environmental Academy are doing their part to make sure that no one has such a "shallow" perspective.

    "We're going to start to think about how Toledo, Ohio's water is connected to all of the entire other water in the world," said WEA teacher Laura Schetter.

    Schetter and her students are launching a new water conservation website - H2yOu - and it is in hopes of getting everyone, across the globe, to share their stories about water.

    "The ultimate goal of H2yOu is to inspire people to care for and conserve our shared global resource of water," said Schetter.

    With an interactive map, H2yOu allows users to share their water stories: where they get it from, why it's important to them, and what they are doing to be stewards of the environment. Users can even share their stories through personal narrative, poem, song, or piece of art.

    Schetter's students, who will all soon have the chance to share their own water stories, expect a flood of stories from around the world. The students recently tested water in a marsh at Pearson Park to see if it was suitable for plant and animal life. "You have to look for nitrates," said Alex, a seventh-grade student. "If there's a high nitrate lvel, it's going to be really bad. If there's a low, it's good."

    The results look promising, according to Schetter's junior scientists.

    The students are reminding people about the importance of water. They even recently visited with employees at Toledo's Collins Park Water Treatment Plant.

    On the Web, the students are hoping to change the world, one story at a time. "The H2yOu project is receiving stories from several countries, from Brazil, from France, from Belgium and Germany," said Schetter. "And then from throughout the United States, we're receiving from stories from California, from Utah and Idaho."

    Once those floodgates open, Schetter and her students hope there will be no end in sight. "Through the power of storytelling on H2yOu, people will be inspired to read each other's stories and have more appreciation and respect for water."

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