District K-12 Educational Programming

Investigating Soil

Caroline County Third-Graders Investigate Properties of Soil in Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE) 


Third-grade Students in each of Caroline County's three elementary schools are getting hands-on experience investigating how different locally-found soils absorb and retain water. Their experiment, Measuring Evaporation, involves making observations, taking measurements, collecting data, analyzing results, and drawing conclusions, and addresses third grade learning objectives related to the properties of soil and the processes of the water cycle, which are both related to the study of watersheds. Hanover-Caroline SWCD collaborates with local school systems to provide classroom resources and field experiences known as Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences, or MWEEs. Caroline County Public Schools Science Instructional Specialist, Rebecca Schieber, has a vision for incorporating hands-on MWEE investigations across all grade levels in Caroline Schools and she strives to work with community partners to bring dynamic learning experiences to all students. While delivering the Measuring Evaporation kits, which included three different kinds of soils and all required lab materials, to third grade classrooms at Lewis & Clark Elementary, Madison Elementary, and Bowling Green Elementary, Ms. Schieber was met with teachers' smiles, enthusiasm, and gratitude for the ready-made kits. "This is my favorite part of my job," she said. Later the same week she shared good news and photographs, "All over the county, soil is being tested!" Bravo, Ms. Schieber! We look forward to many more years of collaboration and to fostering even more community engagement in Caroline County Public Schools' environmental literacy planning. Teamwork makes the dream work! Environmental Literacy Takes Shape in Virginia’s Middle Peninsula through Project W2ONDER

Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience - The MWEE (pronounced "me-we") is the cornerstone of student environmental education about and in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, connecting standards-based classroom learning with outdoor field investigations to create a deeper understanding of the natural environment. The District hosts a local MWEE Field Day for Hanover and Caroline 6th graders each April at the Virginia Public Safety Training Center in Hanover. For more information about H-C SWCD’s MWEE or how to join our great MWEE volunteer team, please contact the District education specialist.

Envirothon - The Virginia Envirothon is a team based natural resources competition for high school students.  Students who participate learn stewardship and management concepts  and work to solve real world environmental problems.  The program is field-oriented, community based and gives students an opportunity to work with natural resource professionals.

Youth Conservation Camp -  A week-long summer conservation camp for Virginia high school students on the campus of Virginia Tech each July. The District sponsors up to five students from Hanover and Caroline counties each year.  Click HERE for the 2023 camper application.

Youth Conservation Leadership Institute - Youth Conservation Leadership Institute (YCLI) is an intensive, individually-planned program for high school students interested in advanced environmental conservation and stewardship, offering opportunities to build leadership skills and connect with local mentors on a locally-relevant project. Students interested in submitting a YCLI proposal should contact the District education specialist for more information.

Poster Contest -The annual Conservation Poster Contest provides kindergarten through twelfth grade students an opportunity to convey their thoughts about soil, water, and related natural resource issues through art. The 2023 Local Contest entry deadline is October 6, 2023. For more information, contact District education specialist.

Student Scholarships - The Hanover-Caroline Soil and Water Conservation District annually awards three $5000 academic scholarships to area high school seniors pursuing a career in the natural resources field. Applications for 2023 scholarships are due on April 7, 2023. 

Educational Resources are available to public, private, and home school educators in Hanover and Caroline Counties. To see a list of available resources visit the Educator Resources and Student Resources pages.