SOIL SCIENCE SCHOOL

The soil is an indispensable element for every living creature. Throughout life, every living interacting with soil and takes advantage of it even if their lives come to an end their connection with soil never comes to a conclusion. Contrary to common knowledge, the soil is alive and it carries on lots of activities that are very necessary for soil and biological environment. Soil, which is a place where agriculture is done, plants grow and is a host for trees as well as generating the grounding for shelter, which also acts as a filter helping to clean the polluted waters and providing our need of water and being the protector of the historical heritage, is an ecosystem where millions even zillions of living beings live and affect each other. Although this system has a great importance there is still lack of information about it. As a result, Soil Science School’s aim is to create a wealth of knowledge about soil by destroying the ignorance about soil.

Who does not want to learn the importance of soil in human lives by having fun, touching to soil and by making experiments with scientists? Where do you think this teaching can take place? The Soil Science School, which is the first place in Turkey, where elementary students are connected with scientists, was opened on 17 October 2007 in the University of Ankara, Department of Agriculture, Soil Sciences and Plant Nutrition. In this school, you will be able to find all your answers about soil. Our curriculum planned according to the slogan of “ Touch the Soil”, will try to improve your sensitivity and knowledge about soil and your will to protect it which is one of the most important components of nature.

The Soil Science School project is supported by TUBİTAK and University Of Ankara, Department of Agriculture since its beginnings, first started education in 2007-2008. The curriculum is formed by the faculty members of the University of Ankara, Department of Agriculture, Soil Sciences and Plant Nutrition and Educational Sciences. Soil Science School carried on its academic work in the University of Ankara, Department of Soil Sciences and Plant Breeding after 2010 and it still continues education with the scientists from University of Hacettepe and Educational Scientists.

It is known that universities have an important role on social services by forming an educational environment apart from schools. The curriculum of Soil Science School conducted by this aim is also a role model for other universities.

The curriculum of Soil Science School is becoming more widespread, also used by other educators as an example. With the help of Soil Science School, a collaboration is formed between universities and elementary schools and especially with the ones connected to MEB.

The aim of creating Soil Science School is to teach the young scientists, who come to this school, the importance, necessity and the way how the soil should be protected and inviting them to an awareness about soil by introducing it to them. This awareness is given to the students by an active education process in which they are given the chance to carry on experiments.

We can summarize the aims of Soil Science School as these;

– To show the students that nature of science can be can be learned by having fun,

– To introduce the students to soil sciences and help them to understand its basic concepts by their baselines,

_ To create an awareness for protecting the soil and its importance

– To improve their abilities to make them obtain a critical perspective about the occurring connected to soil,

– To come up with interesting activities that might be hard for them to apply in their usual classes and help them to trust science via these activities,

– To help them to understand the connection of science with daily life,

– To trigger the scientific and problem-solving abilities of the students by experimental activities that are conducted with simple materials,

– To contribute to laying scientific foundations about the importance of soil and contribute to its development by forming an information and communication line throughout the society.

Soil Science School, improved for those aims has a huge step for being a leader in its area. It has also created an opportunity for children to learn more actively. Education, which is based on activities and grounds on student-centered active learning, in Soil Science School, is created by an understanding, which aims to make children more sensitive about soil and protect one of the most important elements of nature: soil. It is our aim to raise an awareness in students about the importance of soil and its protection, form interesting activities on soil which would be difficult for them to experience in their usual classes and create trust to soil sciences throughout these experiments, help them to understand the connection between science and daily life, improve their love of nature, form scientific baselines about the importance of soil in society via an information and communication line and contribute to this development, as well as, introducing children with soil.

Thus, while students start to know the soil, they will gain the ability to learn to experiment by thinking creatively or gain problem-solving abilities to help them to overcome some problems they may face during learning. They approach to the concepts they come across with a critical perspective and think thoroughly. With the help of the experiments conducted in our laboratories children’s researching and questioning, abilities develop as they intermingle with the technology.

Soil Science School educates students between the ages 10-12. The students may join into the curriculum of Soil Science School once a week, between the hours 09.00- 15.30 in groups of 24, by the application made by the class teacher. The education given in Soil Science School is carried out in accordance with National Education Ministry’s (education) semesters. The education in the Soil Science School starts in the second week of September when the elementary schools open and end in the second week of June when the schools are closed. No education is given during the semester break. The curricula in Soil Science School is carried out in 5 different workshops through the activities that are student-based.

ACTIVITIES

– Stone Age Workshop

– Workshop of Mother Earth and Living Creatures

– Workshop of Soil Protection and Designing

– “Respect for Nature” Workshop

– Workshop of Modest Life