Central South Dakota Water Festival


The Central South Dakota Water Festival is a free hands-on learning event about all aspects of water for 5th graders in Central South Dakota. This half day event features five 25 minutes hands-on sessions about some aspect of water. It's fun! It's educational! It helps you start your year off right!


The 2018 Festival is scheduled for Tuesday, September 25.


The Festival has two repeating sessions.

  • Morning 9:00 AM - 11:30 AM
  • Afternoon 12:00 PM - 2:30 PM


The Festival is held at the South Dakota Discovery Center at 805 W Sioux Ave. Maps are provided of the grounds. Educators can stop by the week before (until 5) for a tour. After hours tours can be arranged by contacting Anne. The tour will take about 15 minutes.

Special Session

New this year!

We will host an interactive ship-to-shore presentation with the Exploration Vessel Nautilus (E/V Nautilus) from 11:30am - 12:00pm. E/V Nautilus is operated by the nonprofit Ocean Exploration Trust founded by Dr. Robert Ballard to conduct pure ocean exploration.

The E/V Nautilus and her crew will be exploring undersea mountains in the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (also referred to as PMNN) through mapping, dives, and remotely operated underwater vehicles (ROV).

Scientists are trying to better understand how these mountains were formed and to determine what biological communities are present. This information will help inform protection efforts. This is a real world example that can help you meet standard 5-ESS3-1 "Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth's resources and environment."

We will solicit questions from your students ahead of time to ask during the presentation. Students whose questions are selected will be able to ask the crew directly.

If you are concerned about managing lunch, we invite you to bring sack lunches for before or after the special session to enjoy at a nearby park. (We regret that we cannot accommodate classes at the South Dakota Discovery Center as our classroom space will be dedicated to the Water Festival). You can contact your food services director to arrange lunches for those who qualify for free and reduced price lunches. (Advice from the Food Services Director is sooner is better!) The South Dakota Discovery Center is located near Steamboat and Griffin Parks and is just a short drive from Fisher Lilly park in Fort Pierre.

Due to space constraints, participation in the live remote with E/V Nautilus is limited to 250 students. Sign up today!

Special Exhibit

The South Dakota Discovery Center is hosting an exciting exhibit about the ocean starting mid-September: Climate Change Oceans, Acid vs Life. The exhibit is based on an expedition to the Western hemisphere's largest coral reef located near Belize organized in conjunction with the renowned Explorer's Club. We have extended the exhibit adding a few pieces to make it more relevant to those of us who live in the Heartland. We invite you to make a return visit before Thanksgiving or Christmas to reinforce the learning at the Festival. Please contact Kristie about school district or teacher memberships.