Second Annual Rosebud-Lott High School Math, Science and Technology Fair
Story by Brian M. Bailey, NRCS Soil Conservationist, Marin, TX
The second annual Rosebud-Lott High School Math, Science and Technology Fair was recently held at the Rosebud-Lott High School in Rosebud, Texas. Students from kindergarten through fifth grade in Rosebud and Lott, as well as junior high students from the local Falls County community attended the event.
Students were introduced to the subjects of math, science and technology and provided information on careers they could pursue in these areas. Among the exhibitors presenting programs and information were USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) personnel Todnechia Mitchell, NRCS district conservationist; Michael Turner, NRCS soil conservationist; and Chad Hajda, NRCS soil conservation technician from the Cameron field office, and Brian Bailey, NRCS soil conservationist and Raymond Skala, NRCS soil conservation technician from the Marlin field office. These NRCS personnel were representing the Central Texas Soil & Water Conservation Districtï¿½s outreach and educational programs.
The morning of the fair was for the kindergarten through fifth grade students, who learned about soil conservation history and the importance of healthy soils. Part of the discussion involved learning about the soil profile and how long it takes to create soils. The students then made their own soil profiles using skittles, corn flakes and ground-up Oreo cookies as the parent material, subsoil and topsoil. Coconut flakes were used for grass cover and a gummy worm was added for good measure. Afterwards, the students were able to chow down on their healthy soil profiles.
During the afternoon, students from grades six through 12 learned about soil and plant conditions that affect rainfall runoff. A rainfall simulator was used to show runoff and groundwater recharge from pavement, bare soil and healthy grass cover. Soil conservation history and the importance of healthy soils and plant condition were also presented
Other exhibitors included the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Central Texas College - a rural electrical cooperative, Department of Veterans Affairs, ARS-Grasslands, TSTC, and the Rosebud and Lott police and volunteer fire departments.
Todnechia Mitchell, NRCS district conservationist in Cameron, explains the soil profile to one of many groups of attentive students at the second annual Rosebud-Lott High School Math, Science, and Technology Fair on May 5 in Rosebud, Texas.
These students show off their completed soil profiles. Skittles were used as the parent material, corn flakes represented the subsoil and ground-up Oreo cookies took on the role of the topsoil. Coconut flakes represented the ground cover, and the healthy soil supported gummy worms.
Michael Turner, left, NRCS soil conservationist in Cameron, and Brian Bailey, center, NRCS soil conservationist in Marlin, used a rainfall simulator to discuss ground and soil conditions, as they relate to rainfall runoff and groundwater recharge with students from Rosebud-Lott High School.