News | April 30, 2021

Thousands Of Orange County Students Learn About STEM Careers And Environmental Topics From Leading Global Experts

The nation’s largest event of its kind celebrated 24 years of educating students about water and the environment in an expanded week-long virtual format. The Youth Environmental Summit (YES), formerly known as Children’s Water Education Festival, is a free virtual field trip featuring live and on-demand programs for Orange County’s third, fourth and fifth grade students. More than 6,600 students from more than 90 Orange County schools registered to attend YES during Earth Week, April 19 through April 23, and approximately 4,500 students tuned in daily during three days of live presentations.

Hosted by the Orange County Water District (OCWD), the mission of YES is to educate students about water-related and environmental issues that support Next Generation Science Standards. Through interactive and engaging presentations, YES teaches youth that they can make a difference in protecting our resources today, tomorrow and for future generations.

“We are proud to have served so many Orange County students as we transformed this educational event into a virtual format,” said OCWD President Steve Sheldon. “Staff did an incredible job adapting to the current learning platform and delivered an exciting program that was educational and fun for all students and teachers who participated.”

Throughout the week-long event, public and private organizations provided more than 60 live, interactive and on-demand educational presentations to the students. Among the many experts who led presentations was Emily Calandrelli from the Netflix show “Emily’s Wonder Lab.” Other presentations included “Mountain Lions of the Santa Monica Mountains” by the California Science Center, “Sustainability at Home and In Space” from Columbia Memorial Space Center, “The Wonders of Water Recycling” by the Orange County Water District, and “Careers in Science at San Juan Creek” by the Reserve at Rancho Mission Viejo. To view a complete list of organizations that participated in this educational endeavor, For more information, visit

YES has educated more than 140,000 students since its inception in 1997. Twenty public and private sponsors helped make the 2021 event possible.

About Orange County Water District
The Orange County Water District is committed to enhancing Orange County’s groundwater quality and reliability in an environmentally friendly and economical manner. The following cities rely on the groundwater basin, managed by OCWD, to provide 77% of their water demands: Anaheim, Buena Park, Costa Mesa, Cypress, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Irvine, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Newport Beach, Orange, Placentia, Santa Ana, Seal Beach, Stanton, Tustin, Villa Park, Westminster, and Yorba Linda. For more information, visit

Source: The Orange County Water District