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Freewaters takes water project to SoCal schools



Environment Updates

Students learn science with pilot water program

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 29 July, 2014 - Freewaters footwear and Therm-a-Rest announce the success of a pilot program they co-funded on water purification and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) lesson plan at Channel Islands High School in California.

By experimenting with a portable SE200 Electrochlorinator provided by Cascade Designs (parent company of Therm-a-Rest), 11th grade chemistry students went through a scientific and entrepreneurial journey that resulted in the design and business case for their own water purification unit.

The process included experiments with salt concentrations, chlorine production and dilutions, raw materials selection and product design. The project was extremely well received by not only students but also by the teachers and administrators who were hungry for creative STEM lesson plans.

The lesson provided real world application, giving students the ability to purify water in the event of a natural disaster and broader lessons about clean drinking water as it related to public health locally and in the developing world.

Additionally, executives from Cascade Designs and Freewaters mentored students on career opportunities in science and engineering by giving in-class presentations. “At Therm-a-Rest® we need talented employees with a real world understanding of the science concepts that they learn in school. I was impressed to see students making connections between their lab experiments and product concepts,” said Therm-a-Rest Vice President Doug Jacot.

“We are very proud to be a part of such an innovative educational program here in our home state of California,” states Eli Marmar, Co-Founder of Freewaters footwear. “With climate change and the current drought across the west, water access and water safety are critical issues for the next generation to understand and help solve.”

The lesson plan was co-developed by Dr. Phil Hampton, Chemistry Professor at Cal State University of Channel Islands and Carla Davis, a Channel Islands’ High School Science Teacher. “Seeing the students highly involved in this project has been inspiring,” said Davis. “Several low performing students have reengaged in the class since the start of this experiment and have not only worked hard, but have also performed extremely well.”


Sarah Savoye

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