Children's Water Festival at Penn State Behrend

The Children's Water Festival will be held on Thursday, May 16, 2019.

The Children's Water Festival will return Thursday, May 16, to Penn State Behrend.

Our goal is to educate fifth grade students about the importance of water, including ground water, surface water, watersheds, water quality, and water conservation through dynamic, interactive activities. The students will learn that everyone has a role in water conservation and environmental protection. 


The Children’s Water Festival is modeled after the Children’s Groundwater Festival. The Groundwater Foundation first initiated the children’s groundwater festival in 1989 to educate children about water and water issues through hands-on interactions with water professionals.

Target Audience: 1,000 fifth grade students from the Erie community.

Festival Specifics

The students will be divided into groups of 15-20, and each group will have a schedule of activities/times. In larger rooms and the activity hall, several groups may be combined. The classroom presentations, activities, and stage shows will last just over 25 minutes for each class with 5 minutes in between for class rotations. The Water Jamboree Activity Hall will run continuously with both indoor and outdoor activities. All groups will attend the festival 4 ½  hours. Guides, teachers, and chaperones will accompany all student groups.

More details to come: Please continue to check this site in the months to come for updates regarding the Children's Water Festival.


Registration is now full for the 2019 Children's Water Festival. If you would like to be added to a wait list, please email Tracy Bishop at [email protected].

Volunteers Needed!

With so many students attending, a lot of volunteers – at least 200 in all – will be needed to serve as presenters, classroom guides and assistants, registration volunteers, logistics coordinators, and in many other roles.

To sign up to be a volunteer or presenter, fill out this volunteer form.

2018 Festival Overview

More than 1,100 Erie County fifth-grade students attended the Children’s Water Festival, held May 17, 2018, at Penn State Behrend.The festival, which is modeled after the national Children’s Groundwater Festival, is designed to educate students about the importance of water, including ground water, surface water, watersheds, water quality and water conservation, through dynamic, hands-on activities. This video from the 2017 festival offers a snapshot of everything that makes the day so special.