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The Elkhart County Soil and Water Conservation District wants to help educators incoporate conservation lessons into their curriculum by providing the support, expertise, and tools necessary to engage students in the natural world that surrounds them every day. Our school programs are free of cost to teachers within the county. Whether you want to have us into your school for a grade-level presentation, borrow our educational “kits”, or just want to brainstorm ideas on how to bring conservation into the classroom, please contact Jordan Beehler.

We have an Augmented Reality Sandbox! You can borrow it for your classroom for free!

We can bring a variety of natural resource/science programs to your classroom (or provide you with kits to use yourself):

Recipe for Indiana Soils – ideal for 4th grade because of the Indiana history connection, the lesson teaches Indiana geography and soil formation.

Incredible Journey – a Project WET water cycle activity (K-6)

The “tarp” activity – teaching about watersheds and potential pollutants in stormwater (6-12) from the Global Rivers Environmental Education Network (GREEN).

Surface Water Quality Monitoring – using the Hoosier Riverwatch protocol (6-12)

How Many Coyotes Can Live Here? – an Indiana adaptation to a Project WILD activity showing the habitat needs of wildlife (1-6)

And more!  Ask us for ideas to assist you!

Workshops are offered for groups of educators (15 minimum) in the following programs:

Project WET – sponsored in Indiana by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Fish and Wildlife.  Project WET envisions, “a world in which action-oriented education enables every child to understand and value water, ensuring a sustainable future.”

Project WILD/WILD Aquatics – sponsored in Indiana by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Fish and Wildlife. Project WILD is “a wildlife-focused conservation education program for K-12 educators and their students and is one of the most widely-used conservation and environmental education programs among educators of students in kindergarten through high school. It is based on the premise that young people and educators have a vital interest in learning about our natural world. A national network of State Wildlife Agency Sponsors ensures that Project WILD is available nationwide and is training educators in the many facets of the program. Emphasizing wildlife because of its intrinsic value, Project WILD addresses the need for human beings to develop as responsible citizens of our planet.”

Project Learning Tree – sponsored in Indiana by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry.  “PLT teaches students how to think, not what to think about complex environmental issues. Recognized as a leader in environmental education for 40 years, PLT enhances critical thinking, problem solving, and effective decision-making skills. PLT’s professional development is carefully designed to create effective learning experiences. PLT’s award-winning, multi-disciplinary curriculum materials are hands-on and fun, and aligned with state and national education standards. More than half of all PLT activities can be conducted outdoors.”

Hoosier Riverwatch – sponsored by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.  “The task of volunteer monitoring is to produce valid environmental data, which is needed to protect our watersheds and aquatic resources. Volunteer monitoring will also inform and engage the community in effective watershed stewardship. In addition, volunteer monitors build awareness of water quality issues, aquatic resources and pollution prevention.”