Dana Davis, NRCS district conservationist in Duncan, Oklahoma, recently
helped Marlow fourth graders celebrate Earth Day and the importance of
conserving natural resources through an outdoor classroom event.
Carl Woods, NRCS soil scientist in Pauls Valley, helped the Marlow
fourth graders learn about layers of dirt, and drilled into the earth
and pulled up several feet of dirt to show the different layers and soil
Oklahoma Conservation Commission Education Coordinator Karla Beatty,
teaches a group of students about the history of soil and soil profiles.
NRCS Soil Scientist Carl Woods brought his NRCS truck equipped with a
core auger to show the students soil horizons in the sample core.
Oklahoma Farm Bureau brought the "Smoke House" to simulate a house on
fire and teach kids about fire safety.
From KWSO News Channel 9 in Lawton:
Stephens County kids learn about conservation on Earth Day
Marlow - On Tuesday, Stephens County youngsters found out dirt is
more than something that gets their clothes dirty. They learned it has a
lot of layers, and what each layer does - an appropriate topic for Earth
Day. The great outdoors was the 150 fourth graders' classroom as they
spent the day at Redbud Park in Marlow.
They learned through hands-on activities organized by the National
Resources Conservation Service. The kids got to touch animal furs, and
learned why they shouldn't hunt endangered species. Perhaps most
important, they learned why we need to keep one of the earth's greatest
resources clean - water.
The kids learned and made new friends, interacting with kids from
other schools. And, all of them made a very big new friend named
"Sister." The fourth graders learned about layers of dirt, and got the
opportunity to see a soil scientist drill into the earth and pull up
several feet worth of dirt. "We call it the outdoor classroom," says
Marlow Elementary School Science Teacher Debbie Pryor. "So, it's just
the same thing, but we actually get to see it out in nature, which is
the way it's supposed to be."
The kids also got to learn where they get their milk. "One of the
things that I enjoy about outdoor classrooms, is a lot of times if you
ask kids where milk comes from, they're gonna tell you from the grocery
store," says Dana Davis with the Natural Resource Conservation Service.
Of course, before it arrives at the grocery store, it comes from a cow.
Since Stephens County doesn't have a dairy, they imported one for the
kids for this special hands-on learning experience.
Todd Griffith and his cow "Sister" came all the way from Sulphur
Springs, Texas, to visit the kids. "We want them to know - even though
this is a rural community - we want them to know exactly where milk
comes from," says Davis. Griffith talked about cows and showed the kids
how to milk Sister - first by hand, then with a machine. He explained
that we didn't always have milking machines, so the kids had the
opportunity to see how things were done in times past - they even saw a
blacksmith mold steel the old fashioned way. "I liked watching him
telling us about how they used to make tools," said fourth grader
Soon, it was back to the future as Oklahoma Highway Patrolmen showed
off their lights and sirens, and talked about keeping Oklahoma safe. "We
got to learn about the cops, and that they travel all through Oklahoma
trying to protect people," said another fourth grader, Jackson White.
This day was all about going beyond textbooks. "We just learn the same
stuff," says fourth grader Emily Linsky. "But it's more exciting because
we get to be outside all day, and we don't have to sit in our
classrooms." A classmate agrees. "It's a lot better than being in the
classroom," said Brady Woolwine.
It was educational for the grown-ups too. For instance, did you know
a Holstein cow, like Sister, produces 12 gallons of milk per day? When
heifers are producing milk, they are milked 2-3 times per day, every
day, for 10 months straight. That's a lot of moo juice.