SOIL & WATER CONSERVATION The soil and water conservation project teaches youth about soil, water, and environmental stewardship. Learn about soil and water quality, how they interact, and how we can protect and preserve them. They perform some simple experiments to help them better understand the makeup of soil, how water can erode it, and steps that can decrease the amount of erosion. General Rules: 1. ALL completed record sheets and manuals/activity books must be turned in to the 4-H Club leader or the Extension Office by 4 p.m. July 1, and must be securely attached in the green “Indiana 4-H Club Member's Record Book.” 2. If any part of your exhibit is on a poster, it must follow these rules. Project posters must be mounted on plywood, heavy cardboard, or other stiff backing, to add stiffness for exhibiting, and must be covered with clear plastic to protect the exhibit - NO food plastic wrap. Suggestions for backing are 1/4" plywood, paneling, styrofoam, etc. Be careful with the new ‘foam boards.’ Often, they are not the correct size. No matter how nice the poster looks, if it is not 22” x 28”, and displayed horizontally, it will be marked down a ribbon grade. The overall size of the exhibit, including backing, must be 22" x 28" and displayed horizontally, unless otherwise stated. The backing should be the same size as the poster. Any poster color is acceptable except where specified in project manual. Posters should be labeled in the front lower right hand corner, within a 3” x 2” area. ALL POSTERS NOT FOLLOWING CORRECT POSTER RULES WILL BE MARKED DOWN A RIBBON GRADE. 3. Choose one of the topics listed below, appropriate for your grade in school, and create a poster based on what you learned from the activity. Use that topic for your exhibit title, so the judges know which activity you completed. You can also use a creative sub-title if you wish. LEVEL A - Grades 3-4 – 4-H795 - (One State Fair entry) Exhibit a poster based on one of the following activities from your manual 1a - Designer Soils - Show how you completed this experiment and what you found. Include results of "discovery" questions (found on page 2) and photos of your experiment on the poster. 4a - Grasses are Great! - Make a poster as described in this activity. Include answers to the "discovery" questions (found on pg. 15). Display pictures or samples of each grain on your poster. Explain how grasses need soil and water to grow. 5a Water Erosion in a Box - Show how you completed this experiment and explain what you found. Include answers to "discovery" questions (found on pg. 20) and photos of your experiment. Include an explanation of water erosion. 5b. Splash Erosion - Show how you completed this experiment and explain what you found. Include photos of your experiment. Include an explanation of splash erosion. 6c - Conservation Reporter (pg 27) - Interview at least one adult using the questions given in the activity (pg. 27) and any others that seem appropriate. Include interview questions and answers on your poster. Include photographs (5 x 7 or smaller) of both the person(s) you interviewed and the conservation practice(s). LEVEL B - grades 5-6 – 4-H796 - (One State Fair entry) Exhibit a poster and/or videotape based on one of the following activities from your manual 4a - Dried Fruit Snacks (pg 30) - Show how you completed this activity. Include your data sheet (copy or make your own) and show your calculations. 5a - Figuring Factors of Soil Erosion (pg 34) - Show how different soil surface factors affect erosion. Include your answers to the questions in the activity and pictures or drawings. 6a - How Do Conservation Practices Work? (pg 37) - Follow the poster requirements given in the manual. 7b - Cabbage Juice pH Indicator (pg 41) - Show how acidity varies in different substances. Include the table (copy or make your own). 10a - Conservation Celebrities (pg 52) - Interview four people with different conservation careers as described in your manual. Take pictures of each person you interview. LEVEL C - grades 7-9 – 4-H797 - (One State Fair entry) Exhibit a poster and/or videotape and/or build a model based on one of the following activities from your manual 2a - Where in the World is Carmen Sandy Loam? (pg 6) - Exhibit the items that you created in doing this activity, as explained in the manual. 5a - Use to USLE! (pg 23) - Show fairgoers how to Use the USLE. Include your worksheet. 6b - Cover Me! (pg 31) - Show how surface cover can be estimated using the simple method given in this activity and describe one other method used (from Get Real!). 8a - Frogs, Dragonflies, and Cattails (pg 42) - Show what you did and what you learned in completing this activity. Pictures or drawings can help tell the story 8b - Marsh Modeling (pg 48) - Build a model, collage, or diorama showing a wetland as required in your manual. 9a - Build a Secchi Disk (pg 51) - Show how you built and used your Secchi Disk. Include your expenses (copy the chart or make your own). Include a picture or drawing of your disk. LEVEL D - grades 10-12 – 4-H798 - (One State Fair entry) Exhibit a poster and/or videotape and/or build a model based on one of the following activities from your manual 1a – Nominate a State Soil - Exhibit your nomination for a state soil. Include any materials you prepared and who you shared your nomination with 1b - Positive Progress (pg 4) - Show what is being done in your community to conserve soil. Include answers to the questions given in the activity. 2a - Mini- monoliths (pg 7) - Prepare and display three mini-monoliths. 2c - Clod Comparisons (pg 14) - Compare two different soils as described in the activity. Include your density measurements and calculations. Use the tables given or make your own. Answer the Discovery Questions. 3a - Earthworm Census (pg 22) - Compare earthworm populations in soils under two different management practices. Answer the questions in the activity. 3b - Soil Slides (pg 25) - Display the results of your soil slide experiment. Give your hypothesis, results, and conclusions. 6a - Write a Conservation Plan (pg 39) - Exhibit your base map, overlays, tables, and other information you compiled to complete this activity. 6b - Make a Model (pg 43) - Make a model of a watershed representing plants, soils, water, at least three conservation practices, and other structures. Independent Study – grades 9-12 (One State Fair entry) Advanced Topic - Learn all you can about a soil/water topic of your choice and present it on a poster. Include a short manuscript, pictures, graphs, and list the references you used to describe what you did and what you learned. Title your poster, “Advanced Soil & Water Conservation." Mentoring - Exhibit a poster that shows how you mentored a younger 4-H member. Include your planning, the time you spent, the challenges and advantages of mentoring, and how the experience might be useful in life. Photographs and other documentation are encouraged. Title your poster, "Advanced Soil & Water Conservation - Mentor."
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