National Science Week

Snooping in to Soils – 2015 International Year of Soils activities for National Science Week                                         

Wimmera soils P10906621  for Wimmera schools- physical and chemical characteristics of our soils.cloudy layerIMG_1690

 The National Science Week session of the Wimmera Primary Schools Soil Education Program aimed  to add the following dimensions to children’s investigations of their home soil :
– physical aspects like reaction to  water droplets and texture
– and chemical aspects like pHclear layerIMG_1689

These will add to the environmental survey of healthy places that were made in the last session in assessing how healthy their soils are.

They have also  been left with the challenge to get the soil in the Soil Shake mixtures back into the small vials they came from!Soil Shakes settlingP1090879

The children are reporting their findings on their My Soil Story booklets which may be contributed to the global Soil Stories project by OVAM (Belgium).

200 children and their teachers from 8 towns have been involved in these NSWk sessions. Marnoo soil test pHsP1090855Reports have been provided to schools for their newsletters to further raise community awareness of their local soils.

This is the 3rd of a 4-session Wimmera primary schools Soils Education program  . It aims to help children understand and appreciate better the nature of our Wimmera soils in the 2015 International Year of Soil, and the relevance of the IYS theme “Healthy soils for a healthy life” using soils from the children’s homes. The program is an interdisciplinary,  science-based incursion progarm. Snooping into SOils challengeP1090901The class time is funded by the Wimmera Catchment Management Authority . The program is created and delivered by Jeanie Clark, enviroed4all(R).

2 On-line Soil Science – Browse Soil Selfies  and create a Science Soil Story group to share.

Soil has a lot of great science linked to it. What can you find in the Soil Selfies collection?Longy imprint in sol

  • simple observations  use the sense of sight for differences in colour and surface texture (eg in the Soil Selfies close-up photos)
  • sciences are involved in understanding how

    plants grow in soil and the properties of soil for supporting buildings and other constructions  (eg in the Soil Selfies in use photos)

  • many sciences are involved in understanding and managing challenges in using soils (eg in the Soil Selfies issues photos)

What story do groups of Soil Selifies tell?
Shingleback lizard using river bank  soilIf you look at a group of Soil Selfies, you may discover some similarities between places among the many differences.  Here is one group Aussie Soil Selfies Warracknabeal (12 Mb).

What soil story will you find and what are the sciences involved in them?  If you send me your grouping with comments as a pdf, I will load it here for others to discover the science you have found.

Please note that the Soil Selfies collection is still growing, so please return to see more.

display3 Soil Selfies displayHorsham Plaza
This display at the Horhsam Plaza puts the Soil Selfies into National Science Week in the International Year of Soil 2015. I also provided some soil testing activities in a couple of sessions during the week.

This Wimmera-Mallee display complements the grouping of Soil Selfies on-line (above no.1) and the many places sciences are involved in soils.

Great Grains at Emmas Minyip4 Great Grains Display – Minyip
This is at Emma’s Café and Takeaway in Minyip. Here is a major product of our Wimmera- Mallee soil with comments from communities about their value, shapes to help recognise them, and artworks using the different shapes of our grains.

5 Your own soil.
Use your senses of sight and touch to snoop in to your soil and consider what more advanced sciences are involved in your care for it to be as healthy as possible.

Thank you for being a part of this volunteer project.  

As a freelance environmental educator, my work in creating this project and this website is unfunded . If you can, please support me … with a donation and/or feedback for how the activities in this website when when you used them.  Thank you.

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page last updated 28 August 2015