Columbia, SC—Conservation educators from the Richland Soil and Water Conservation District (RSWCD) are available to present classroom conservation programs for schools and youth groups on a limited basis. All programs are correlated with SC science academic standards and tailored to each grade level.
- Typically, programs are presented to one class at a time (max. 25 students) with up to three presentations/classes at the same school in one day.
- Educators prefer to lead programs out-of-doors if outdoor learning space is available.
- Most programs require 30-60 minutes to present.
- In fall 2021, educators are available on Fridays.
- Programs are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and the educators’ calendars are expected to fill quickly.
- There is no fee for programs.
Programs presented during the 2021-2022 school year will be aligned with the annual Youth Conservation Poster Contest theme, "Healthy Soils: Healthy Life." Two topics are available--"Wonderful Worms" and "Supersoil: Soil Science 101." Each topic has several extension activities which presenters will tailor to grade level academic standards.
Wonderful Worms: Vermicomposting in the Classroom
Correlated to SC Science Academic Standards in Grades K, 2, 4, and 6
During this hands-on program, Eisenia foetida—the red wiggler earthworm—will be used as a model organism to help students learn about:
- the needs of organisms, including air, water, food, and shelter;
- how animals use different body parts and adaptations to survive;
- animal life cycles, growth, and reproduction;
- soil food webs and the important role of decomposers in the ecosystem;
- how composting at school and at home can help the environment.
Students will help prepare one shoebox-size vermicomposting bin per participating class. Teachers have the option of keeping the bin for students to maintain and monitor over the course of the school year.
Supersoil: Soil Science 101
Correlated to SC Science Academic Standards in Grades 1, 3, 5, 7, and 8
This fast-paced program includes several models, demonstrations, and activities to help students understand:
- why soil is an important natural resource;
- properties of abiotic and biotic materials that make up soil (rocks, sand, silt, clay, water, organic matter, humus, etc.);
- processes of weathering, erosion, and deposition;
- how humans can help conserve soil through conservation practices such as composting, erosion control, cover cropping, and no-till farm management.
How to Schedule
For more information, or to schedule a program for your classroom or student group, contact Chanda Cooper at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following conservation programs are inactive in the 2021-2022 school year:
Where Would We BEE Without Pollinators?
Correlated to SC Science Academic Standards in Grades K, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5
Who are the pollinators, what is their relationship with plants, and why are they important to humans and wildlife? This program covers the following concepts:
- characteristics of organisms that serve as pollinators;
- why some plants need animal pollinators;
- how human actions affect pollinators;
- conservation practices that can help protect pollinators.
Correlated to SC Science Academic Standards in Grades 4, 5, and 6
This program begins with a demonstration and interactive game to introduce or review the water cycle. Then, students explore the concept of watersheds, pollution, and conservation with an Enviroscape. Important concepts covered include:
- how water changes as it moves between the atmosphere and Earth’s surface during each phase of the water cycle;
- what a watershed is, and how water shapes the landscape;
- why water is an important natural resource;
- how human activities affect watersheds and water quality through conservation practices (positive) and pollution (negative).
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Conservation Districts are political subdivisions of state government under the local direction of five-member Boards of Commissioners. In South Carolina, Conservation District boundaries conform to County boundaries. The Richland Soil and Water Conservation District promotes the wise use and care of natural resources for long-term sustainability.
Richland Soil and Water Conservation District
2020 Hampton Street, Room 3063A
Columbia, SC 29204
Phone (803) 576-2080
Fax (803) 576-2088