Brainwave Learning Program

Brainwave Learning Program

The SA Water Brainwave Learning Program is a series of free events and learning resources. It supports the Australian Curriculum in three main areas: geography, science, and sustainability.

Curriculum areas


This part of the program covers:

  • the economic value of water
  • the nature of water scarcity
  • ways of overcoming water scarcity
  • the way water connects and effects the environment
  • the quantity Australia's water resources and how they vary
  • comparison of water resources in Australia and on other continents.


This part of the program covers:

  • the importance of water as a resource
  • how water cycles through the environment
  • the renewable nature of natural resources
  • the non-renewable nature of some natural resources
  • how science and technology contribute to finding solutions to a range issues
  • mixtures: Water and sewage contain substances that can be separated using a range of techniques.


This part of the program covers:

  • how individual and community action contributes to the sustainability of systems. These include ecological, social and economic systems
  • how sustainable futures are created by preserving and/or restoring environments.

Tours, workshops and shows

Our workshops are primarily targeted at years five to seven. However, the Kauwi Interpretive Trail and our Living Loans program are valuable for all ages.

Reimbursement of bus hire is offered to regional and disadvantaged schools. For details, please contact us via the number listed at the bottom of this page.

Living Loans Incursion Program

Borrow an SA Water staff member for your class and discover a wealth of knowledge about water and wastewater treatment, desalination, water cycle and conservation, and the River Murray and salinity issues.

Where? We come to your school

How long? 1 hour session

Who? See below for year level suitability by subject

Conditions: We can present up to a maximum of 3 classes in the one session (dependent on age of students, topic chosen and size of your room). We will contact you when we receive your booking to discuss the details.

Book a living loan visit

This program is suitable for Foundation to Year 12, depending on the topic.

Water Cycle & Conservation

Suitable for Foundation - Year 3

A discussion around where water is found in the world, why it is precious and ways to conserve it. Includes an interactive water cycle activity, power point, demonstration of how much fresh water is in the world and an optional reading of Captain Plop's Water-Saving Mission.

This session requires a large space for students to act out the water cycle. Please ensure you have a hall or large activity room for groups of 2-3 classes

Suitable for Years 4-7

An interactive quiz of fun facts using power point slides and voting handsets. This session covers the water cycle, water as a renewable resource, water issues in Australia and around the world, the importance of water in lifestyles.


Water Treatment

Suitable for Years F-5

A presentation including images of a real treatment plant and a live simulation of the process of treating water to drinking quality. Covers why water treatment is important and the step-by-step process of treatment. If a treatment plant tour is not an option for your class, this program is the next best thing!

Years 6 and 7: we encourage you to book our Follow That Drop program which provides students with more in-depth information and hands-on activities for the whole class.

Years 11 and 12 Chemistry: contact us to discuss having a scientist take your students through the water treatment process with a focus on the chemistry involved. Dependent on availability of our people.


Wastewater Treatment & Recycling

Suitable for Years F-4

Makes use of the picture book Captain Plop and the tour de recycle to discuss the process of treating wastewater. Includes demonstrations to explain the process of screening, sedimentation, aeration, clarification, digestion and disinfection; and a discussion of wastewater recycling.

Years 5- 7: we encourage you to book our Poo Do Gurus program which provides students with more in-depth information and hands-on activities for the whole class.



Suitable for Foundation - Year 3

Uses Captain Plop: the desalination adventure to explain the process of desalination. Students dress as characters from the book and act out the story.

Years 5-7: we encourage you to book a Desalination Plant Tour to provide older students with the best experience.


River Murray and Salinity

Suitable for Years 5-10

Discuss the effects of salinity, drought and flood on the Murray River system, and the communities and environment surrounding the River. Includes images of the River system in drought and a discussion and video of the fishways which allow fish to navigate through the locks and weirs.

Water Treatment: Follow that Drop!

Join That Science Gang for the story of a drop of water's journey to your tap. Classes can tour a water treatment plant and/or participate in hands-on workshops.


  • full day excursion (tour a reservoir and treatment plant, and take a workshop)
  • take a workshop
  • take a tour.

Where? Tours are at Happy Valley Reservoir and Treatment Plant; workshops are at SA Water House, 250 Victoria Square, Adelaide.

How long? Tours are one hour, workshops are 1.5 hours. For a combined workshop/tour option please allow four hours (including travel time between venues).

Who? Targeted at years five to seven.

Slippery Stuff: Incursion science show

When pure, water is tasteless, odourless, and just a little bit blue. But, most commonly, it is found on planet Earth as a mixture. As you slip and slide through this slippery and spectacular show, you'll discover how SA Water scientists transform these mixtures to create drinking water and clean up our waste.

Venues At your school (see dates below for regions available)

Duration 1 hour

Audience Targeted at years three to seven.

2019 dates: 18 - 22 March and 21-25 October: metropolitan/ outer metropolitan, 9-13 September, Yorke Peninsula and Mid North, South Australia

Please email an expression of interest to nominating your preferred date and we will be in touch to confirm once we have worked out a schedule.

Sewage Treatment: Poo Do-Gurus

Did you know the average person visits the toilet 2500 times a year? Imagine what happens to all that waste!  That Science Gang will take you on an interactive, journey to explore how sewage is treated and recycled. At SA Water your 'business' is our business!

Where? Tours are at Bolivar Wastewater Treatment Plant (or Christies Beach by negotiation). Workshops are at SA Water House, 250 Victoria Square, Adelaide.

How long? Tours are one hour, workshops are 1.5 hours. For a combined workshop/tour option please allow four hours (including travel time between venues).

Who? Targeted at years five to seven.

Book a Workshop

Book a Tour

Desalination: Tour

'Kauwi' in the local Indigenous Kaurna language means 'water'. The Kauwi Interpretive Centre is part of the Adelaide Desalination Plant and tells the story of water in South Australia from settlement to now. Discover the desalination story through displays, problem-solving activities and tours.

You will learn about:

  • the importance of our desalination plant
  • the process from ocean to tap
  • the environmental and sustainability aspects of the plant
  • local plants historically used by the Kaurna people (featured in the Bushtukka Garden next to the centre).

Each school session includes a short presentation, group activities and a tour of the desalination plant.

Where? Adelaide Desalination Plant, 16 Chrysler Road, Lonsdale.

How long? 1.5 hours.

Who? Targeted at years five to seven.

Book a tour

Desalination: Kauwi Interpretive Walking Trail

The Kauwi Interpretive Trail was developed in collaboration with the local Kaurna people and showcases their history and culture. Along the walking trail are wetlands, look-outs and impressive views of the southern coastline. This includes the Bushtukka Garden.

Where will the trail  take me? The trail starts at the Kauwi Interpretive Centre on Chrysler Road at Lonsdale. The trail heads towards Gulf St Vincent and along the coast before turning back towards the Adelaide Desalination Plant.

How long is the  trail? The total length of the trail is 2.3 km, or 1.15 km each way.

When can I visit? The trail is accessible 24/7, so you can walk it at any time.

Sustainability Challenge

Challenge your students to explore urban water supply and sustainability issues. Students work in teams to design a sustainable town with a water supply that meets growing demands on the supply system.

This program introduces students to:

  • water sources
  • treatment processes
  • the water cycle
  • urban planning
  • populations
  • demographics.

Where? SA Water House, 250 Victoria Square, Adelaide.

How long? Workshops are two hours long

Who? Targeted at years seven to nine.

Book a Challenge

Contact the Brainwave Team

Phone: 08 7424 2223


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