Water is a precious resource - that's exactly what the sixth grade World Cultures class from Banquete Junior High School learned this past week as they undertook the 2010 Water Challenge.

The Water Challenge was designed to teach students how access to water can change the way people live and how to better manage water resources, said sixth-grade teacher Jennifer Torrez. Students were limited to a four-gallon daily water allowance: three gallons were allowed for bathing/showering and one gallon was designated for drinking, brushing teeth and other uses.

During the weeklong challenge, students hand-washed a day's worth of clothing using only three gallons of water and had to line-dry their clothes.

In the classroom, students learned about the plight of children in the Mathare slums of Nairobi, Kenya and discussed the effects of global water shortages. As a culmination to the project, students constructed solar stills in order to purify salt water into fresh drinking water.

Participants met at the Banquete High School stadium and kicked off the event with a three-mile walk in the hot afternoon sun, where they reflected on the difficulties children from the Mathare slums experience in attaining drinking water.