Impacting the Environment

Impacting the Environment
Posted on 05/02/2017

Representatives from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) brought their trailer to Fairview School to give students a hands-on experience about how they can help the environment.  Tom and Michelle, from the Environmental Protection Department of the DNR, shared that their role is to ensure people have clean water to drink and clean air to breathe, and to help keep the land clean and pollution out of water. 

As the second-graders gathered around a trailer featuring a landscape with several items, Tom explained to them that the sand-like substance used to create the landscape in the trailer was made from recycled, ground up school lunch trays.  Moving the material around, Tom created a pond, straight and meandering streams and a lake.  After discussing local examples of the different bodies of water, he used them to demonstrate watershed.  The students shared ideas about how the items stationed around the land, such as cows, old cars, a garbage truck, a construction site, trains and other items could pollute land and water.

Students were then encouraged to think of ways they could positively impact the environment to protect the land, air and water.  They were given grass, trees, rocks and fences to place around the landscape as a way to help stop pollution.  When asked how this fits into the curriculum, 2nd grade teacher, Brian Sand, replied, “We are studying processes of earth through our new Next Generation Science curriculum.  This ties directly into what we are talking about in terms of how earth changes, how wind and water affect the earth, and also a human’s role in affecting the earth and how humans can slow or stop the changes.”  Sand went on to share that in the past, this experience was largely connected to a social studies unit that dealt with the environment, but with Next Generation Science, it all tied into the second-grade curriculum of processes of earth.  “This fits in not only with social studies, where we are dealing with the environment, but the science piece now too, which is huge.  This experience answers lots of the questions that kids have since they get to see it firsthand.”