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Tour the WET Science Center

Everything you ever wanted to know about water

Children playing in the plaza stream. It is designed to look like a natural stream and starts at a waterfall. Photo credit: Marguerite Cleveland

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The Water Education and Technology (WET) Science Center is a place to learn all about water. Children will love the interactive games and exhibits while they learn about water conservation, wastewater treatment, reclaimed water use and how to protect the Puget Sound. The center is owned and operated by the LOTT Clean Water Alliance, which is a nonprofit corporation that provides wastewater management to Lacey, Olympia and Tumwater.

Amber Smith, education program manager, said, "The WET Science Center and East Bay Public Plaza are a fun, free destination for families to play and learn. One of our most popular exhibits is the giant calculator, which adds up how much water you use each day. You can explore the center on your own or do a scavenger hunt and receive a prize.

In addition to the giant calculator, children can try four different LOTT jobs on a computer game. They can find their home or other location on a map and see how long it takes for a flush to reach the treatment plant. Another fun exhibit is building a reclaimed water pipeline to move foam balls simulating water from one place to another. The WET Science Center has an extensive education outreach and they offer over 400 different programs. Also on Saturdays throughout the year, the center offers art projects, speakers, tours and other activities. Look on the event calendar on the website for more information.

The WET building is state-of-the-art when it comes to environmental awareness. The building is LEED Platinum green certified. "We generate our own electricity for the building from methane gas produced during the treatment process. Nothing goes to waste. The Class A reclaimed water is safe to play in. It is used in our demonstration wetland and stream. The East Bay Public Plaza is one of only three places in the country to receive Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) certification for outdoor public places," she said.

No trip to the WET Science center is complete without a visit to the East Bay Public Plaza located right outside the building. The park is owned and operated by the LOTT Clean Water Alliance and connects the center to the Hands On Children's Museum. On the science center side of the plaza is a demonstration wetland, which mimics a natural stream and wetland. As you head across the street to the Hands On Children's Museum, the plaza widens and a wading stream flows through it.  The stream has water-themed art of native animals frolicking in the water. This is very popular during the warmer months. It is a good place to hang out with family and friends while children cavort in the stream. Both the stream and wetland pond are fed by Class A Reclaimed Water produced by LOTT.

To extend your day, head over to the Olympia Farmers Market. The WET Science Center is located in a very walkable area of town. Park your car once and enjoy the sites.

WET Science Center, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday-Saturday, 500 Adams St. NE, Olympia, 360.528.5742,

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