TPWD encourages kids to gain water and boating safety knowledge because, as we all know….Nobody’s Waterproof! Teachers are in a unique position to provide boating and water safety information and help save lives when the students get out on local lakes, rivers, and waterways, and even while they’re playing at home or in the community swimming pool! Early introduction to boating safety helps students develop good boating and water safety behaviors that follow them throughout their lives.
The Texas Boater Education Course is mandatory for boaters Born on or after September 1, 1993 to operate a windblown vessel over 14 feet in length, a motorboat with more than 15 horsepower, or personal watercraft. Boaters under the age of 13 may operate a craft, but must always be accompanied by a person at least 18 years of age and legally authorized to operate.
Resources are currently available related to water and boating safety for grades K-2, grades 3-5, and grades 6-8 with the Texas Aqua Smart Program (adapted in cooperation with California Department of Boating and Waterways in 1997).
To request a copy of the curriculum and accompanying video, please email email@example.com, or call 512-389-8141. Please specify the grade level that you are interested in receiving, and provide a full mailing address. These resources are in limited supply, so please order only one set per school.
In addition to the Aqua Smart program available for grades 6-8, resources are currently available for junior high and high school teachers in the form of the standard Boater Education Course manual and video. The course takes approximately 6-8 hours of classroom time, and is open to your creativity to use exciting training aids and provide hands-on activities that convey the course messages and provide the necessary boater safety information. Students will not only receive valuable boating and water safety information, but upon successful completion will receive the Texas Boater Certification required for them to operate a boat in Texas!
Teachers interested in providing the boater education course in their classroom should send a request through the How to Become a Boater Education Instructor page (coming soon) to schedule a boater education instructor course close to your area (average time commitment – 8 hours). Manuals, videos, and start up course materials are provided free of charge once you are certified as a TPWD instructor, and students pay only a $10/student fee to TPWD to obtain their certification upon passing the exam.
The next time you’re participating in a special event related to water safety and boating safety, you’ll have some hands-on activities to engage students and families! The Junior Boater Program was developed to provide activity ideas to enhance your current curriculum or provide at events around the state. Download:
- Junior Boater Education Activity Guide pdf (PDF 513.5 KB)
- Junior Boater Education Activity Guide Word document (Word 140 KB)
- Texas Junior Boater Certificate - Girl Paddling Image (PDF 1.3 MB)
- Texas Junior Boater Certificate - Girl Paddling, No Background (PDF 1.3 MB)
- Texas Junior Boater Certificate - Boy Water Skiing Image (PDF 1.3 MB)
- Texas Junior Boater Certificate - Boy Water Skiing - No Background (PDF 1.3 MB)