tx H2O

txH2O Winter 2008

Water education curriculum targets children

The National Junior Master Gardener (JMG) program recently developed a water education program specifically targeted to children. "Operation W.A.T.E.R.: Dr. Thistle Goes Underground" is a horticulture and environmental science curriculum for sixth to eighth grade students.

The curriculum consists of group and individual activities that teach important concepts about soil and water, said Lisa Whittlesey, Texas AgriLife Extension Service program specialist and National JMG coordinator. The program can be used for a school class, JMG club, 4-H program, kids gardening group, or individual study.

Topics in "Operation W.A.T.E.R." include soil texture, aquifers, watersheds, wetlands, soil nutrients, the water cycle, soil improvement, soil structure, and water and soil conservation. An integrated web site (www.jmgkids.us/) for students is a part of the curriculum.

"Students will learn about important concepts of soils and water as they work together on a mission to foil the newest plans of the villainous character Dr. Thistle," Whittlesey said. "It's a novel and engaging way to connect with these students.

"It should be very popular for teachers in that it addresses important issues for Texas, is correlated to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, and is a great fit for both school and after school programs."

The program is seeking groups to sponsor training workshops to educate teachers and youth leaders about using this curriculum. To order a copy of "Operation W.A.T.E.R," call toll free at 877-900-2577 or go online to www.jmgkids.us.

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