Regional contest aims to teach students how to keep the Schuylkill clean

Every day, we turn on the faucet to get drinking water and shower without thinking about where the water comes from. 

To help students better understand how their actions affect water sources, the Schuylkill Action Network (SAN) is hosting its eighth annual student contest on river projects.

SAN was formed in 2003 in an effort to clean up and protect Pennsylvania’s Schuylkill River, a source of drinking water for approximately 1.5 million people and its tributaries. It’s a coalition of more than 100 organizations.

Since the founding of the organization, it has highlighted students’ projects that have a direct impact on the drinking water in the Schuylkill watershed. Projects in the past have included water quality testing of local creeks, classroom discussion of environmental stewardship with journals, student participation in creating a campus rain garden and many more.

The contestants are entered to win the Schuykill Scholastic Drinking Water Award. The award recognizes schools, colleges, and universities that protect drinking water sources through hands-on educational programs, class projects or land management practices. It is open to students living in Berks, Montgomery, Delaware, Camden and Philadelphia counties.

“The main message that we try to promote is to make connections between activities and actions that we take in our own lives that impact the land that we live on and its direct impact on our river and streams throughout the watershed,” said Tom Davidock, coordinator of SAN. “I think if we can make that connection in the work that we are doing through this program, we are being successful.”

He continued by saying that exposing students to this type of information will help them have positive relationships with the environment and local watershed through adulthood.

The projects are ranked on work content and amount of student engagement in connection with the classroom curriculum.

All participating schools will also be asked to attend a lunch reception with speakers during the National Drinking Water Week in May.

Submissions are due by March 2. For more information, visit

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