Youth Development (Sandoval County)
Sandoval County youth will enhance their personal growth, through the development of leadership, citizenship and life skills, and experience and satisfaction of making a difference in their own lives, their families, their schools, and their communities.
- Steve Lucero
- Related Plans
How does a river work? Students observe a model river and watch the effects of water as it flows downstream. County 4-H Agent presented an interactive hands-on workshop to teach water conservation, protection of our water resources and riparian ecology utilizing the Rolling Rivers demonstration trailer. Use of the rolling river trailer is a collaborative effort with the Soil & Water Conservation District. 810 students participated at Bernalillo County Kids, Kows & More and 14 students participated in Santa Fe County Water Day Camp. Students learned life skills related to critical thinking, problem solving and wise use of resources.
In early 2011 the Small Farm & Ranch Task Force was approached by the RiverXchange program to assist with providing an educational field trip for 147 fifth grade students from Pojoaque Intermediate School. RiverXchange is an innovative program that combines a year-long water resources curriculum with class partnerships through social networking technology. New Mexico fifth graders are partnered with “high tech pen pals” in another part of the U.S. or world to share what they are learning about critical water resources issues relating to their local river. Bernalillo, Sandoval, and Santa Fe counties have worked with the RiverXchange Program throughout the school year providing hands-on educational activities that examine commercial uses of water in 45 New Mexico RiverXchange classes.
In order to emphasize the concepts covered in the classroom, Extension Agents partnered with RiverXchange and the Alcalde Ag Science Center to provide a hands-on learning experience. Additionally, the purpose of the program was to:
* educate students about the governess and issues related to water
* promote the benefits of environmental stewardship
* increase students' environmental literacy and agriculture role
Students were transported to the Ag Science Center where they participated in 6 different interactive workshops. Workshop presenters included representatives from Santa Fe County Cooperative Extension Service, Sandoval County Cooperative Extension Service, Bernalillo County Cooperative Extension Service, Valencia Cooperative Extension Service, Rio Arriba County Cooperative Extension Service, and NMSU Rural Agriculture Improvement and Public Affairs Project (RAIPAP).
Workshops topics were as follows:
1. Soil pHizz Test- Students examined how soil pH levels can affect crop productivity, and through visual pH tests, were able to identify if a soil sample is acidic or basic. Students were also able to understand how soil nutrient levels are affected by pH.
2. Drip Irrigation- Students assembled a simple drip irrigation system and were able to see how it functions.
3. Soil as a Filter- Students learned how soil quality and composition relates to its ability to filter contaminants in water.
4. Water Quality- Students learned how to test for 8 parameters that affect ground water quality.
5. Irrigation Tour- Students took a walking tour of the Ag Science Center and got to see the different types of irrigation methods used at the center. They examined the pros and cons of each system and when and how each method would be appropriate.
6. River Tour- Students rode a hay wagon to the river diversion. They got to see first-hand how we use the river to irrigate our crops. They also examined the importance of the river to the environment and riparian habitat. Students learned about the governess of water and water issues.
Pre and post tests were administered to the students. Based on the evaluations a 13% increase in knowledge was measured. Teachers were also asked to evaluate the program. All teachers that completed the evaluations rated the overall field trip as “Excellent” and stated they would take part in the field trip if offered again. Some comments from the teachers included:
“All activities provided effective learning and growth for students. Thank you for this opportunity.” and “Thank you all so very much for this wonderful opportunity. This was one of the most interesting field trips I have experienced.”
Kids, Kows & More is an educational program that focuses on how everyday agricultural products are made. Unfortunately, many students never have a chance to see crops and farm animals in person. Kids, Kows & More shows them that agriculture isn’t some abstract idea – it’s the food they eat and the clothes they wear. The program also emphasizes the importance of agriculture to the local community economy.
This program was introduced in 2011 to 538 fifth grade students in the Rio Rancho/Corrales and Bernalillo elementary schools. Students from the Jemez Valley Elementary School also participated. Adult participation included 27 teachers and 20 chaperones.
Pre- and post- tests were conducted utilizing electronic survey. 58% of the students answered post-test questions correctly. The average overall score was 12% higher in the post-test compared to the pre-test. A teacher stated, It is important for children to be in touch with the sources of their food. Thank you for doing this program!” and another teacher remarked, “This was a great event; students, teachers, and parents enjoyed every presentation.” A student commented, “I really appreciate all the presentations because it gave me information about what people do for a living and how to do special things. Also, how to prepare for a bad situation.”
RiverXChange is an outreach program that integrates water resource topics with computer technology, hands-on curriculum and classroom partnerships. Goal is to strengthen 4th grade students’ and teachers’ understanding and appreciation for the local river ecosystem and to protect water resources. County 4-H Agent presented commercial uses of water: “Agriculture” a hands-on educational program related to farm irrigation systems and conservation technology. 334 students from 5 Rio Rancho schools participated. Students gained knowledge about their local river, watershed and water resource issues and posted what they learned on a wiki website. Each class was partnered with a 4th grade class in another US state.
A teacher stated,” I would love it at the end of the year if students remembered what watersheds are, what a delta is, and so on; but more importantly I want them to leave with the deep rooted idea that water is valuable, water is sacred, and here in New Mexico, water is scarce.”
County 4-H Agent provided educational experiences related to water quality, conservation, erosion and protection of watersheds. 1,100 4th grade students from 45 classes of 16 Albuquerque area schools attended. Pre- and post- festival student surveys were conducted. 71.82% of the students answered post-festival survey questions correctly. The average overall score was 20.79% higher in the post-survey compared to the pre-festival survey.