Education & Outreach
Education and outreach are key to teaching present and future generations about our unique resources and why it is important to conserve them. Licking Soil & Water offers many education opportunities including school- and community-based programs. For more information, please contact Licking Soil & Water at 740-670-5330, or via email.
Adult Education Workshops/Field Days: We regularly hold a variety of workshops and field days. We hope you will join us in learning more about conservation of our natural resources. To review our current scheduled workshops and field days click here (event calendar).
School-aged Educational Programs and Teacher Resources: Education Programs Offered by Licking Soil & Water are listed below. For more information, please contact Licking Soil & Water at 740-670-5330, or via email.
Soil-based Programs: The soil under our feet plays a major role in where plants grow and animals live. Participate in soil tests and use scientific equipment to discover characteristics of Ohio soils. Compare soil from various places such as stream banks and grassy fields. Consider how soil is made and how we use the soil, rocks and minerals under our feet. Meet some soil builders and let them teach you how you can build soil in your community. Choose from the programs below. Mix and match programs to fit your needs and time limitations.
• Soil Soup (20 minutes): This activity is great for introducing soil vocabulary words while making Soil Soup. With the help of props, students consider the ingredients needed to make soil. Vocabulary words: sand, silt, clay, percolation, horizon, humus, organic matter, invertebrate, organism, ecosystem, reclamation, restoration, habitat, decomposer
• Soil Testing (30-60 minutes): Students answer comparative questions by performing soil investigation tests. Students read and follow soil test directions, collect soil samples from various habitats, and use scientific equipment.
• Decomposer Tag (20 minutes): Description: Students play a freeze tag game where “Death” tries to tag and freeze the “Nutrients” in plants and animals. The “Decomposers” unfreeze the “Nutrients” trapped in dead bodies, allowing them to return to the cycle of life. Variation 2: To demonstrate that life would stop without “Decomposers” recycling dead things, you can allow “Death” to tag and freeze the “Decomposers” along with the plants and animals. The game (and life on Earth) ends when everyone is frozen except “Death.”
• Vermicompost and Worm Investigation (20 minutes): Identify worms as decomposers in a working vermicompost system. Investigate worms in small working groups. Each group gets a worm, investigation equipment, and worksheet to record observations. As a group, conclude with a guided discussion on what ecosystem services worms provide as decomposers.
• Mineral Puzzle (20 Minutes): Use rock samples to guide conversation about how are rocks and mineral different, where are they found, and how do we use them. Warm up with a rock sample matching activity. Next build rocks from minerals using a puzzle. Finally students create a work of art by combining their minerals to make a granite sculpture.
• It Comes from Soil Relay (20 minutes): In teams, students determine if certain everyday items come from the soil beneath our feet or not. As a group, investigate where things ended up and why. The students can make great arguments for why they put things here or there. Ultimately, the group should discover that many everyday items come from soil.
Water-based Programs: Licking County has a lot of surface water and groundwater. People depend on this water for drinking, watering plants and animals, bathing, cleaning, etc. Observe how water moves above ground and underground. Evaluate and test the health of our waterways. Choose from the programs below. Mix and match programs to fit your needs and time limitations.
• Enviroscape (20 minutes – 1 hour): Using a hands-on watershed model, students learn about sources of non-point and point source pollution, as well as explore water pollution prevention through visual interaction. With a real-world career focus, the Enviroscape helps students make connections between what we do on Earth and the impact on the environment. Vocabulary words: watershed, non-point source, point source, pollution, runoff, stormwater, best management practices, sediment, nutrient, organic, toxic
• Groundwater Model (20 minutes – 45 minutes): Simulate groundwater movement using a table-top model. Demonstration includes pumps to recirculate the water, wells, springs, artesian wells, a lake, an unconfined and a confined aquifer, a malfunctioning septic systems and leaking underground storage tank. Dye injection is used to simulate groundwater or contaminant flow. (Electricity is required to operate model).
• Water Quality Testing (30 minutes – 1 hour inside or 1 hour - 2 hours at a stream/river site): Modeled after Licking Soil & Water’s Stream Team program, students learn about various types of water pollution and their sources, as well as career paths related to water quality. Participants perform habitat assessments and biological, chemical, and/or physical water quality tests on surface water. This credible data is recorded and analyzed along with other data collected throughout the county.