Not so long ago, a chemistry professor had an idea he shared with a couple from the Sun Foundation and began a concept to develop and empower young minds to become environmentally active. They called the concept, the Clean Water Celebration and would celebrate the event close to Earth Day, helping to put environmental stewardship front and center.
“The man with a new idea is a Crank until the idea succeeds.” – Following the Equator
“[Inventors] are the creators of the world—after God.” – quoted in Mark Twain, the Man and His Work, by Wagenknecht.
This year’s keynote was: Student Impact. Think Globally and Act Locally, presented by Biologist Paul Ritter and Pontiac Township High School Students. The students created a simple class project of properly disposing of expired and unused drugs called P2D2, Pontiac Prescription Drug Disposal program. This program has grown into a nationwide drive and created global attention and public awareness which is resulting in better water quality for all.
“Water taken in moderation cannot hurt anybody.” – Mark Twain’s Notebook
In addition to the keynote session, 1000’s of students attend various breakout sessions and exhibits to enhance their understanding, awareness, and enjoyment of science and the environment.
Between sessions Mark Twain had the honor of speaking with presenter Michael Wiant, Dickson Mounds Museum Director, Jimmy Lakota, Traditional Native American dancer, and Jo Lakota and Squirrel, a Native American storyteller and her pet squirrel.
“It is best to prove things by experiment; then you know; whereas if you depend on guessing and supposing and conjecturing, you will never get educated.” – Eve’s Diary
Following the Sunday dinner presentation, several presenters and event coordinators gathered socially and discussed new ideas and solved many world problems. The energy which radiated was complimented by lies, laughter, and joyful camaraderie.
“The proper office of a friend is to side with you when you are in the wrong. Nearly anybody will side with you when you are in the right. – Mark Twain’s Notebook
What is it about the Clean Water Celebration which makes it special?
Well, I think I could speak at length about sponsors, volunteers, teachers, presenters, and especially the students, but I’ll let Sam speak last:
“What is it that confers the noblest delight? What is that which swells a man’s breast with pride above that which any other experience can bring to him? Discovery! To know that you are walking where none others have walked; that you are beholding what human eye has not seen before; that you are breathing a virgin atmosphere…To be the first—that is the idea.” – Innocents Abroad
LINK to Sun Foundation Clean Water Celebration
LINK to P2D2 Program
LINK to Illinois Science Teachers Association
LINK to Dickson Mounds