Students get wet and dirty all in the name of conservation science

Posted at 7:53 AM, May 15, 2019

HANOVER COUNTY, Va. -- More than  1,500 6th graders learned lessons this month about their local watershed at the Virginia Public Safety Training Center.It’s a hands-on curriculum; a field day for the Meaningful Watershed Education Experience in conjunction with the Hanover-Caroline Soil and Water Conservation District.

"And that includes understanding their local watershed," education specialist Karen Fetty said. “What a watershed is; the animals and habitats that are within it and depend on healthy streams and clean air."

Part of that education is looking at creatures caught in the ponds and streams that feed into the nearby Pamunkey River.

"Cataloging each kind of animal, then they can find out the pollution tolerance of each group of animals. "

By acting out the parts of a river system, students learn about the basic characteristics and functions of various parts of the system and the importance of protection.

"We don't want kids just sitting at a desk doing paperwork," teacher Glen Klesat said. "This gets them outside, gets them engaged, and they're learning something fun."

Fun meets science with the kids really getting to understand how much pollution is in the waterways, testing the water quality and recording the results.

"We want them to understand that their actions affect not only their neighborhood, but everybody that lives downstream," Ms. Fetty said.

Building an understanding of watershed science is Building Better Minds.