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Get dirty! soil science education for kids

69th SWCS International Annual Conference
July 27-30, 2014
Lombard, IL

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Get dirty! soil science education for kids

  1. 1. Soil Science Education for Kids & Adults Ross Braun, Dig-It! docent
  2. 2. Why Teach Soil Science? Cultivate Interest in: • Natural Resource Conservation • Environmental Protection • Science • Career Development (STEM) Soils Are A Secret Resource
  3. 3. Awareness to Action • Raising awareness on the most pressing  environmental issues of our time is more  important than ever. Leonardo DiCaprio • Tell me and I forget.  Teach me and I  remember.  Involve me and I learn. Benjamin Franklin
  4. 4. Socratic Teaching Method Give students questions, not answers.
  5. 5. Socratic Teaching Method • Stimulate discussion with probing questions • Periodically summarize what has and what has not been dealt with and/or resolved (Yes = every response . . .) • Draw as many students as possible into the discussion.
  6. 6. Socratic Teaching Method Teachers Can Cheat! • Dynamic Tools & Toys • Demonstrate • Involve Students • Relate to Real Life
  7. 7. What’s the best soil for mud pies?
  8. 8. Making Soil Monoliths
  9. 9. Teaching Environmental Educators
  10. 10. Painting With Soil
  11. 11. Is this soil disturbed or undisturbed?
  12. 12. Soil Texture Test
  13. 13. Soil Water – Predict Rain Effect • Where have you seen disturbed soils? • Where have you seen undisturbed soils? (Baseball Field:  Infield vs. Outfield) • Color Difference?  Carbon = Decomposed Organics • Structure:  Smooth or Creamy Peanut Butter? • Mycorrhizal Fungi:  Glomalin (glue malin) • Earthworm Castings:  POOP! What will happen when it rains?
  14. 14. Soil Water – Rain Effect What happened? • If you were a plant which soil would you  prefer? • If your house or playground was below  these soils what would happen? • Flooding • Sediment  (get pretty dirty . . .)
  15. 15. Soil Slake Test Disturbed versus Undisturbed Soil - What will happen?
  16. 16. Handout Materials
  17. 17. Teachers and Students http://www.soils.usda.gov/education/ http://forces.si.edu/soils/ (Smithsonian) http://doctordirt.org https://www.soils.org/smithsonian/exhibit ( http://www.nacdnet.org/education/soils http://websoilsurvey.nrcs.usda.gov/app/ http://www.fieldmuseum.org/undergroundadventure/ http://www.agclassroom.org/kids/farm.htm http://forces.si.edu/soils/05_00_00.html (e
  18. 18. Stickers
  19. 19. Do You Know The Soils at Your House?
  20. 20. Soil Education Venues • Earth Day Events • Scout Meetings & Events • Teacher Workshops • Classrooms • Nature Centers • Science Centers • Museums
  21. 21. Thank You ~ Stump the Soil Scientist ~ Can you think of anything on this planet not connected to soil?

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