Youth water consumption is inadequate. Increasing adolescent water consumption could support decreased dental caries and body mass index (BMI). Most schools are required to provide free, potable water. However, there is evidence that schools’ self-reported compliance data overestimate access to water in schools. We tested the feasibility of using student citizen scientists to collect high quality observational data about water sources in schools. We trained 12 teams of high school students to use a validated photo-evidence protocol to photograph and submit data on water sources in elementary and secondary schools. We surveyed students and advisors to assess student learning, advisor burden, and project feasibility. Students submitted data for 325 water sources across 40 racially and economically diverse schools. We were able to use 99% of the student-submitted photographs to measure water source wear, cleanliness, accessibility, and flow. The majority of students (72%, N = 70) spent under 2 hours photographing each school. The majority of students and advisors felt the project was valuable and feasible.
Training High School Student “Citizen Scientists” to Document School Water Access: A Feasibility Study
Developing, Validating and Feasibility Testing a Cost-Effective Photo-Evidence Method to Assess Effectiveness of Access to Drinking Water in Schools
This study will develop and validate a photo-evidence method to measure effectiveness of water access in schools since the Healthy and Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 requires that potable water be available to children at no charge during mealtimes in areas where meals are served. The aims of this study … More
Strong nutrition standards for school meals, consistent with evidence-based recommendations, position children for optimal health and wellbeing. Strong science supports the link between lowering sodium intake and better health. This new issue brief from Healthy Eating Research examines the recent history of sodium standards for school meals. It highlights current sodium intake … More
Drinking water access in California schools: Room for improvement following implementation of school water policies
This study aimed to investigate how access to free drinking water in California public schools changed after implementation of 2010 federal and state school water policies. Repeated cross-sectional surveys were conducted with administrators in a random sample of California public schools, stratified by school type and urban-centric geography, from 2010 … More