FAQ

General information

Q. What is the Water Explorer programme?
A. Water Explorer is a fun, inspiring and educational programme that empowers thousands of students across the world to lead action on water issues for their schools and communities.

Q. What benefits do the students and my school get from taking part?
There are many benefits from taking part in Water Explorer:

  • Access to lots of accessible, attractive, challenges with accompanying resources that increase water protecting knowledge, attitudes and behaviours
  • Being part of an international online community of water-conscious schools to collaborate with and learn from
  • Sharing your stories with schools around the world
  • The chance to be supported to host your own Water Festival
  • Improving wider skills such as presentation, communication, team working and language skills
  • A sense of purpose and responsibility for students in leading action
  • A way to reduce your school’s water impact and work towards Eco-School certification
  • A fun way to engage parents and the local community
  • The opportunity for your students to win United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) certificates
  • Win prizes and awards
  • Work together to help solve one of the most urgent problems facing the next generation

Q. How can my school get involved?
A. To get started, complete the registration form. You will then get access to your Water Explorer homepage, where you will find all the details of the Challenges for each Mission area, along with supporting resources. Your school will also be able to create its own avatar and you will get access to your team’s virtual reservoir, which fills with water and looks more beautiful as you complete challenges and gain points.

Q. What is Mission Control?
A. Mission Control is the activity hub for your Water Explorer team. You access it from your schools Water Explorer homepage. It contains all the information and resources you will need to complete your water Challenges.

Q. What should the student blog posts be about?
A. The blog posts are a chance for your Water Explorers to share their experiences of the Challenges they’ve completed and show the impact it is having in their lives and in the lives of their families. The best blog posts will also contribute to winning a ‘Team of the Month’ prize

Q. What equipment do I need?
A. Most Challenges do not require any specialist equipment, other than a computer, as the students report their activities online and can blog about their experiences. If any other equipment is needed, the teachers’ instructions will say this. It may be useful to book some time in your schools ICT/computer suite if you do not have access to a computer in class.

Q. What countries are taking part in the programme?
A. Bermuda, France, Germany, Italy, Republic of Ireland, Poland, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey and the UK (including the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands)

Q. Can I link up with schools taking part in other countries?
A. Yes! As a Water Explorer, you also need to explore how others are saving water. Share your ideas and top water-saving tips to be the best water-saving team. Suggestions for doing this include:

  • Setting up a Skype call with another Water Explorer school
  • Uploading a blog to inspire other Water Explorers
  • Share your photos
  • Invite another school to one of your Challenge events

Registering my school

Q. Can anyone register for the programme?
A. You can register if you’re a teacher, staff member or parent representing your school as authorised by the school’s Head Teacher. You will have the option to register a second teacher as an alternative contact during the registration process. If you’re a home school or a community group, contact us if you’d like to participate.

Q. Is there a cost for taking part in the Water Explorer programme?
A. No, the programme is free for all schools in the 11 Water Explorer countries teaching students from 8-14 years old.

Q. What happens after I’ve registered my school?
A. Once you have submitted the registration form, you will receive an automated email confirming the details you have provided. You’ll then be able to log in to Mission Control, where you will be asked complete a short opening survey and create your school’s avatar. Once you have completed the survey and created your avatar, your Water Explorer Challenges will be unlocked along with all the instructions and resources you need to get started. You can select to receive a Welcome in the post which contains some useful Water Explorer planning materials including a poster and teacher guide.

Q. What is the avatar?
A. Every participating school will create an avatar to be their Water Explorer mascot. You can choose from a selection of character types, identifiers and colours to create this.

Q. I haven’t received my registration email. What should I do?
A. Your registration email will be generated automatically. If you haven’t received it, your system may have identified it as junk mail. Please check your junk mail folder. If it is not there, please contact us for assistance.

Q. Can I take part if I am not in one of the 11 countries listed?
A. At the moment the programme only has funding to support schools in 11 countries: Bermuda, France, Germany, Italy, Republic of Ireland, Poland, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey and the UK (including the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands)

Q. I have registered but can’t remember my login details.
A. If you have your username but have forgotten your password, go to the login page and click on the ‘Request new password’ link. An automatically generated password will be sent to your email address. Alternatively, for a reminder of your login details, please contact us.

Creating a team

Q. How many people are needed for a team of Water Explorers?
A. There is no minimum or maximum number for your Water Explorer team, and we are keen that you involve as many students as want to get involved and as your resources allow. We would recommend a good team size being 10-15 students although you could split larger groups into sub teams to do different Challenges or Missions.

Q. How should I recruit a team of Water Explorers?
A. Teams are very flexible and can be made up of students from a single class, an after school club or they can be made up of a mixed aged group of students. If your team is on the younger range of the age span for this programme (8-10) they will likely need more guidance whereas an older or mixed group should be able to lead most of the Challenges on their own. One way to recruit your team of Water Explorers could be to hold an assembly about Water Explorer and ask for volunteers.

Q. How many teachers and staff can be involved?
A. We recommend having one teacher or staff member in overall charge of your team of Water Explorers. That teacher can nominate an alternative contact when they register for the programme. Teacher approval is needed for any information e.g. blogs/photos to be published on the school public Newsreel.

Q. How do my team of Water Explorers log in to Mission Control?
A. When you register you will be given one username and password for you and a separate username and password for your students. This gives you overall control of approving and checking blogposts before they are uploaded and allows you to access your Mission instructions.

Learning and Resources

Q. What learning does Water Explorer address?
A. Challenges are designed to be completed with students aged 8-14 and provide an extensive range of learning opportunities. Each Challenge has a complexity level, this refers to the difficulty if the learning and is rated as either easy (1), medium (2) or hard (3). Because of the wide reach of this international programme, it has been designed to provide broad curriculum links to a number of subjects taught in all eleven countries including; Geography, Science, Mathematics and Literacy, rather than being specifically tailored to meet the objectives of one country’s curriculum. Water Explorer also seeks to promote a number of key values to encourage local and global citizenship. In addition, students will develop their skills in presentation and communication, team working, problem solving and project management.

Q. How do I know which Mission area is right for my students?
A. We suggest letting the students decide what issues are most important to them and which they would like to focus on. You could hold a school or team-wide vote. Water Explorer is designed to be flexible so that you can complete Challenges from any Mission area and in any order. You do not have to complete one Mission area before starting another one.

Q. How can I use Water Explorer to help reach Eco-School status?
A.The challenges in Water Explorer help students at your school to reduce water use and pollution. This may help contribute towards other eco programmes and accreditation but the Water Explorer programme is not directly linked to any other programmes.

Q. Where can i see some example teacher resources?
Click here or look on your countries homepage.

Points and Prizes

Q. How are points earned?
A. Your Water Explorers earn points by completing Challenges. The more points they earn the more water and wildlife you add to your virtual reservoir. You also increase your chances of winning our regional and international School of the Month prizes winning a Water Workshop and being invited to hold a Water Festivals. Your team can earn extra points by uploading blog posts or videos and by creating their own activities and uploading templates for others to use.

Q. What prizes can teams win?
A. Water Explorer teams will be eligible for prizes and incentives such as cameras, school trips, supported workshops, stickers and badges as they progress through the challenges and gain more points.

Q. What is the ‘School of the Month?’
A. School of the Month is a competition that runs throughout the programme where we recognise and promote high achieving teams. We’re keen to know what teams are up to, so by earning points, posting engaging blog posts, photographs and videos, and also by creating and uploading your own new challenges, you could win School of the Month. The best performing team in each participating country will win a prize and be promoted on the regional homepage each month, and the best School of the Month from all 11 countries each month will additionally be promoted on the international homepage.

Website and Privacy Settings

Q. What can other people see about my school on the Water Explorer website?
A. Your school’s involvement in the programme and the status of your school’s reservoir will be public, though no personal contact details will be visible publicly. All public blog posts must be approved by the teacher with user access; otherwise they will remain only privately visible by that school’s team members. Teachers will be given the option to approve blogs as either privately or publicly available.

Please refer to your school’s child protection policy or photo policy when uploading photos or videos of students to the website.

Got a question that’s not answered here? Please contact us.

See our terms and conditions for more information.

Water Explorer is supported by the
HSBC Water Programme
in association with