Dishing the Dirt Part 1

High schoolers use their school grounds as an education center. This outdoor school garden is a laboratory where students prepare to study soil science, start Soil Journals and conduct an experiment that helps neighboring schools start gardens. An educational program featuring web pages and multi media presentations adds dimension to this down to earth project.

For more about Special #3 from Techno Gardening, e-mail Aida Quinones, author and AT&T Teacher Disseminator
Learning Standards
  • Research, analyze and evaluate environmental challenges, through observation, and experimentation.
  • Research and apply the unifying concepts of science.
  • Use technologies to obtain, utilize and present information.
  • Classroom Activities
    Preliminary activities start with students surveying the school grounds. They look for vegetation, slope, bare spots, moisture level, use of land, and examples of weathering. They begin to address a series of soil related

    issues in their Soil Journal and complete lab reports for their first experiment:
    Community Activities
    Secondary school students use their acquired skills to teach elementary school students the importance of soil conservation. Students analyze soil in their school garden and make recommendations for improvement. They duplicate this process in other schools throughout the district.
    Students research career opportunities related to soil science. Careers include soil conservation technician, soil analyst, agronomist, soil consultants, farmer, and horticulturist.
    Applications in Biology/Chemistry , Center for Occupational Research and Development, Waco, Texas; LaMotte Soil Handbook, LaMotte Company, Chestertown, MD; plastic bags, small spoons or spatula, soil samples, goggles, petri dish, magnifying glass, microscopic slide, microscope, camera, film
    Students research soil on the Internet and begin to document work for a PowerPoint presentation.
    Students are tested on Questions About Soil and Characteristics of Soil? Teacher checks Soil Journals and lab reports for accuracy and completion.

    Web Sites
    Students research soil and substrate at