WEF, GEI Project join for K-12 Water Science Curriculum

Water Environment Federation announces joint venture with GEI Project to co-develop public education initiatives, including a new K-12 Water Science Curriculum...

ALEXANDRIA, VA, Sept. 29, 2004 -- The Water Environment Federation (WEF) announces the launch of a new public education venture with the Global Tele-Community Education Initiative (GEI Project), a networked global learning community.

Under the agreement, the Federation and GEI Project will work together to strengthen the science, math, engineering and technology of K-12 students on a global basis. Included in this plan will be the co-development of a K-12 water science curricula, lesson plans, and training and collaboration CDs in environmental science and public health. Topics include: prevention of communicable diseases, alternative energy exploration, water purification, and watershed and ecosystem purification.

"As a recognized leader on water quality issues, WEF has a responsibility to seek out partnerships that will assist with our mission to educate the public and stakeholders about the importance of water and its direct link to public health," said WEF Executive Director Bill Bertera. "The joint venture with GEI Project will strengthen the foundations for global knowledge transfer and capacity building needed to sustain growth and maintenance of the workforce of scientists, engineers and educators needed in the future."

Developed in 1999 by the John C. Ford Program, Inc. under grants from the U.S. Department of Commerce TOP, WK Kellogg Foundation, Microsoft Corporation, EDS Foundation, EDS Corporation, Bank of America Foundation and others, the GEI Project's mission is to end education, digital, gender and cultural divides in order to foster world peace. The networked global learning community, using low-bandwidth live video, PC-to-PC voice and data-sharing, connects underserved K-12 youth and teachers worldwide with leading scientists, engineers, academia, and executives to collaborate on the development of real-world science and engineering projects. Now in Phase IV, the GEI Project reaches 52 countries operating through international education HUBS located at the grassroots level in public and private schools, community learning centers, museums and universities.

WEF will serve as lead partner for water science and will assist GEI Project with the fulfillment of its mandate through sharing of its technical and professional expertise on water quality issues. Other benefits of the partnership include WEF's co-ownership of the project assets including access, training and use of the GEI web-collaboration network for research and development meetings, conferences and training sessions; and resources for identifying and securing funding for program development through national and international grants and other funding resources.

About WEF
Founded in 1928, the Water Environment Federation (www.wef.org) is a not-for-profit technical and educational organization with members from varied disciplines who work toward the WEF vision of preservation and enhancement of the global water environment. The WEF network includes water quality professionals from 79 Member Associations in over 30 countries.

About GEI Project
The Global Tele-Community Education Initiative (www.geiproject.org) is an international model project whose mission is to end the education, gender and cultural divides. Phases I and II of GEI were piloted in Dallas, Texas by the John C. Ford Program, Inc., through $1.3 million grants from the U.S. Department of Commerce TOP, WK Kellogg Foundation, EDS Foundation and other contributors. GEI addresses two critical needs: (i) stabilizing a global economy through education revitalization; and (ii) establishing global collaboration between diverse populations and cultures.

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