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.
School-aged Educational Programs and Teacher Resources
Education Programs are offered in the classroom, on your school grounds, or a nearby park. Loaner kit programs to check out for use in your classroom are also available, listed below. For more information, please contact Licking Soil & Water at 740-670-5330.
The soil under our feet plays a major role in where plants grow and animals live. Participate in soil testing 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. All programs can be tailored to fit your age, grade, group, and standards. Choose from the programs below or 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 Sampling/Testing (30-60 minutes)
Students learn about the physical properties of soil and answer comparative questions by performing soil investigation tests. Students collect soil samples from various habitats, read and follow soil test directions, and use scientific equipment. Lab option: Soil samples are analyzed for chemical testing for pH, Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium levels.
Soil Science/Intro to Soils (30-60 minutes)
Students learn about the physical properties of soil with a PowerPoint lesson and answer comparative questions by performing soil investigation tests. Optional addition: Students collect soil samples from various habitats, read and follow soil test directions, and use scientific equipment.
Learn about surface water, groundwater, and the quality of water. People depend on stormwater for drinking, watering plants and animals, bathing, cleaning, etc. Observe how water moves on the surface of the land and through the water cycle. Evaluate and test the health of our waterways. All programs can be tailored to fit your age, grade, group, and standards. Choose from the programs below or 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, and explore water pollution prevention through visual interaction. The EnviroScape helps students make connections between what we do on Earth and the impact on the environment throughout several types of landscapes. 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 pollution and contaminant flow. (Electricity and a water source is required to operate model).
Water Quality Testing/Stream Study (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, their sources, as well as career paths related to water quality. Participants perform habitat assessments, biological (with macroinvertebrates), chemical, and/or physical water quality tests on surface water. Credible data is recorded and analyzed along with other data collected throughout the county.
Loaner Kit Programs:
Our programs can be borrowed for a week (or two) to fit into your lesson plans by request. We have tote ready kits with supplies, background notes, activities, resources, and more! Choose from any of our classroom soil and water presentations above, or from the list below. *Click on a program to learn more* All programs can be tailored to fit your age, grade, group, and standards. Choose from the programs below or mix and match programs to fit your needs and time limitations.
Mineral Puzzle (20 Minutes)
Use rock samples to guide conversation about how rocks and minerals differ, 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.
Decomposer Tag (20 minutes)
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. Many resources provided to learn about the important role decomposers play in the food web.
Pollinator Puppets (20 minutes)
Learn about different types of pollinators like bees and butterflies. Create a finger puppet pollinator using Chenille Stems. Then use your pollinator to travel between flowers collecting pollen along the way. Limited supplies.
Butterfly Life Cycle (30 minutes)
Students learn about the life cycle from an egg to caterpillar to pupa to ultimately a butterfly using a macaroni art inspired metamorphosis. Read a story about the life of a butterfly and use guides to identify pollinators in nature.
Life Cycle of a Pumpkin (30 minutes)
Students create the life cycle of a pumpkin starting from a seed. Variations and extension activities are included.
The Incredible Journey (30 minutes)
From Project WET, students become a drop of water and cycle around the Earth through plants, animals, clouds, and more! Keep track of your travels and write a story about your incredible journey.
Stream Table (30 minutes)
Students create a mini stream using sand and observe how stormwater moves through the sand. This model mainly shows erosion and with variations and lab study resources.
Free Trees for Students
In the spring sponsors make it possible for us to provide free trees for students. Watch our newsletters and Facebook for more information.
What is the Envirothon?
The ENVIROTHON is a high school competition designed to stimulate, reinforce and enhance interest the environment and natural resources. Students are tested on their knowledge of soils, forestry, wildlife, aquatic ecology and current environmental issues. In addition, the Envirothon encourages cooperative decision-making and team building. While each student on a team is challenged individually to contribute his or her personal best, the score that counts at the end of the competition is the team score. A team consists of five students, all from the same high school. An adult advisor (or advisors) must accompany the team, but is not permitted to assist the team during the competition.
High School students across the state compete on the local level at one of the five Area Envirothons. The top four teams from each Area Envirothon then go on to compete at the state competition held each year in June for the title of State Envirothon Champion. The winning team will then compete at the national competition, the NCF Envirothon, held annually in July in a different state in North America.
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.