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Primary school children learn about water

The children at the Poederoijen primary school thought it was great. They enthusiastically pumped water into a lock and sailed boats past a water wheel. Moreover, they performed a play showing the purposes for which people use litres and litres of water every day. This ‘shower’ ended on a serious note: when using water, use your heart and your mind. The children were the highlight of the presentation of Watertoolkit, which provides primary schools with teaching materials for a project week about water. The toolkit was developed in The Hague. The initiators are hoping to interest all Dutch primary schools in the toolkit. The most important sponsor is the hydraulic engineering sector and, in particular, dredging and marine contracting company Van Oord.

The idea was proposed by JCI (Junior Chamber International), an organisation of young entrepreneurs with 200,000 members throughout the world. The JCI Bergsche Maas has taken responsibility for the water toolkit.
The infectious enthusiasm of this club convinced 75 of the 95 Dutch JCI branches to promote the water toolkit.
JCI members deliver and collect the material ‘because it’s not something that you can transport on the back of a bike’. Five large crates of teaching material are involved for two primary school classes in each case, and corresponding didactic material is available for teachers. The idea is to make children aware of water. ‘Not everyone lives in a country with sufficient clean drinking water and without constant fear of floods,’ says the Junior Chamber in Bergsche Maas.

Dredging company Van Oord considers the water toolkit to be a very useful package for making children aware of hydraulic engineering – a splendid Dutch export product. The Public Relations and Marketing manager gave a very upbeat presentation about the projects in Dubai. ‘How attractive our project in Deira may be, nobody realises that it is a Dutch product. We must involve hydraulic engineering far more in branding the Netherlands.’ Just as impressive was the presentation of architect Erick van Egeraat of a multifunctional island in the Black Sea near Sochi where the Olympic Winter Games will be held in 2014. The entire island must be completed by 2020 and will include ‘varied permanent accommodation for 100,000 people’, according the architect, who is cooperating closely with Van Oord. Keen new employees will be needed for all these projects, and the seeds for that enthusiasm are best sown at primary school level!

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