Baylor School of Education master’s students in the Sport Management finance class have been working to raise $10,000 to build a water play center at the Piper Center for Family Studies and Child Development. The Piper Center allows approximately 350 Baylor students a semester to study, observe, and experience child development behaviors in and outside the classroom.
The idea for the Piper Water Discovery Center began last fall semester with Dr. Mar Magnusen, assistant professor in the sport management graduate program, and Barbara Crosby, director of the Piper Center. They wanted to find a project that would benefit sport management students, the Piper Center and the Waco community. Funding and building a water feature for the kids sounded perfect.
When Magnusen began teaching his sport finance class this semester, he introduced the project to his students, and the ideas started flowing. Students formed teams and pitched ideas for a campaign to fund the water center, which will include a miniature fountain spouting water into a stream covered halfway by a bridge that eventually leads to a plant garden.
“The feature will provide geographic shape recognition, lessons on sinking, flotation, and surface descriptions,” Magnusen said. “The garden feature provides opportunities for the children to learn about nature, ecology, and God’s call for us to be good stewards of his creation.”
The winning team, comprising Sarah Langston, BSEd ’06 in Recreation, and Stephanie Davis, BA ’14 in International Studies, chose a “grass-roots” campaign that meant connecting to the Waco community through face-to-face interactions and fundraising on all forms of social media. So far, $3,000 out of $10,000 goal has been raised to create the Water Discovery Center.
The runoff from the stream will water the Texas-themed garden that will feature Texas plants, flowers and a bear cub statue.
“The most exciting part of this is the realization of a dream of an amazing water feature. This water feature will provide for our children a safe and natural way to explore and study the water,” Crosby said. “Learning about the movement of the water and enjoying a beautiful, natural place where they can interact with water safely is of great advantage to children learning math, science, and English.”
Fundraising for the center began in January and will continue this summer until all $10,000 has been collected. Magnusen said they are planning on beginning construction in the fall of 2015 so the children can enjoy the feature beginning in the spring of 2016.
The biggest part of the campaign has been the social media aspect of fundraising. Langston and Davis have set up an Instagram account posting daily pictures, a Facebook page to generate interest, and a Twitter account to post pictures and updates of the fundraising campaign.
Donors can also support the campaign through the Piper Center’s GIVE website.
— by Kate McGuire
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