Soil Science and Stewardship
In this program students will explore the surprising world of life within the upper layer of soil. Students will be prompted to make connections between soil health and diversity, as well as overall ecological health and biodiversity.
Grade Levels, Program Length, and Season
- Appropriate for Grade Levels 3-8.
- This program lasts 2 hours and can be adapted to suit your needs
- Offered from April-October. This program will be held in the great outdoors, rain or shine. Please make sure students are dressed for the weather.
Program Description and Activities
In this program students will be engaged in a multifaceted program experience with activities that may include:
- Using microscopes to view the diverse group of creatures that break down organic matter within the soil. Students will discuss how the tiny soil creatures we observe and identify have different roles to play in soil food webs, as well as discuss the role of decomposition in soil formation.
- Digging into a compost pile while examining the breakdown of plant material into nutrient rich compost to observe both inorganic and organic components of soil and discuss how these are related to soil formation. Students will examine the physical characteristics of different soil types and make observations and measurements to identify materials based on their properties.
- Students will examine soil and discuss how different rates of weathering could affect life both above and below the soil surface. They will make observations and measurements to provide evidence of the effects of weathering on the rate of erosion by water, ice, wind, or vegetation.
- Students will be asked to note the various adaptations of organisms we observe in our soil samples and use evidence to support the explanation that traits can be influenced by the environment.