Jokes, songs and slapstick silliness “rained” down on Dunsmore Elementary on Tuesday as the school hosted “H2O, Where Do You Go?,” an interactive assembly sponsored by Glendale Water and Power.
With equal parts Abbott and Costello, Smothers Brothers and the Science Guy, Michael Heatherton and William Barrett explained the earth’s water cycle, how Southern California gets its water and the importance of water conservation.
With Heatherton changing in and out of costumes and Barrett backing him on guitar, the duo sang songs about condensation, snow in the mountains, the three states of matter and California’s aqueduct system.
Dunsmore Principal Mary La Masa felt that the assembly’s topic fit perfectly in the students’ curriculum.
“Our fifth and sixth graders study the water cycle,” La Masa said, and all the classes “talk about conservation, especially recycling.”
Clever props were a big part in the presentation. Heatherton and Barrett connected long lengths of rain gutters to simulate California’s two major aqueduct systems, the Colorado River Aqueduct and the California Aqueduct. The pair then rolled plastic balls down the gutters to show the students how water travels.
The message was not lost on third-grader Brendan Caver, who said he learned that aqueducts are important “so Southern California can get water.”
In addition to the water cycle, the assembly stressed the importance of water conservation. “Turn it off” was the mantra of the day as the students learned to not let the water run as they brushed their teeth and washed the car, and to run the dishwasher only with a full load.
Principal La Masa appreciated the timing of the message. “In a time of conservation, it was a great opportunity for [the assembly].”
Heatherton said he and Barrett try to impart a “general awareness that water is a finite commodity. It’s very easy to take water … for granted.” He added that kids need to “start conserving now [or be faced with] forced rationing in the near future.”
Heatherton and Barrett are with the company Shows that Teach, which collaborates with local entities to provide entertaining and educational assemblies throughout Southern California.