E.A.R.T.H. Festival Miami County

Established 2004

General Information: 

School based, 425 participants, Miami County

Next Celebration Date: 
April 22, 2008
VIP tour available?: 

Leanne Stevenson
Miami County Extension
(913) 294-4306

Crystal Coffman
Miami County Extension
(913) 294-4306

Festival Activities: 

Every Tree for Itself, Geology, Groundwater Model, Living with Nature Reptiles, Mudscape, Nature Recycling/Red Worms, Oil Spill Clean Up, Rainfall Simulator, Soil Olympics, Water Quality and Livestock Stream Bank Trailer

Detailed Festival Information: 

E.A.R.T.H., which began in Sedgwick County, has expanded in to multiple counties across Kansas. Miami County E.A.R.T.H. began in 2003 and is growing each year. The E.A.R.T.H. program is designed to make students aware of environmental issues and give them tools they can use to identify, prevent, or solve environmental problems. Students who have acquired skills and knowledge during their participation in E.A.R.T.H. will be more capable of taking appropriate action in areas of environmental protection now and in the future.

Todays youth require wide-ranging and systematic education that builds their environmental decision-making skills so they will be able to effectively confront environmental challenges in the future. Unfortunately, most schools do not have the resources to create effective, research-based environmental lessons. E.A.R.T.H. is a year-long classroom program that trains teachers to present environmental skill and knowledge-building lessons to their students throughout the school year. Participating teachers receive award-winning curriculum that contains hands-on lessons built around five major themes; Air, Water, Soil, Living Resources, and Impacts. Each lesson is interactive and is correlated to the Kansas Science Standards. Many school districts face chronic funding challenges, so each teacher receives a classroom Supply Kit, worth over $500.

Each April, the E.A.R.T.H. Steering Committee hosts a Student Workshop (Water Celebration) where students apply their classroom skills to real-world challenges. At the Workshop, local environmental experts and youth development professionals present hands-on sessions based on local environmental issues. Here students are able to explore difference scientific careers as well as become active participants in their community and environment.

  • Carefully recruit active members for the Steering Committee so that each person will not have too much and they will not get burnt out. The Committee is key to a successful program.
  • Have a welcoming session at the Workshop to get the student groups gathered with their group leaders. Use this session to make general announcements and provide participants with basic layout information.
  • Impress upon Workshop presenters that they need to arrive early and test their equipment well before the scheduled start time.
  • Increase the amount of food for lunch at the Workshop if we continue having high school students as presentersthey eat more than an average adult.
  • When doing a large group session be sure to have a microphone for the speaker.

The E.A.R.T.H. Steering Committee plans and hosts the annual Student Workshop. Committee members include:

  • Jessica Baetz-Caylot Kansas Corn Growers/Kansas Sorghum Gowers
  • Donna Beverlin Extension Master Gardener
  • Tonya Bronleewe - E.A.R.T.H. Program Coordinator
  • Crystal Coffman Miami County Extension
  • Gale Garber Hillsdale Water Quality Project
  • Herschel George Kansas State Research and Extension Water Quality Project
  • David Green Corps of Engineers, Pomona Lake
  • Becky Hendrickson Miami County Conservation District
  • Kathy Kierl Extension Master Gardener
  • Jim Morgan Louisburg High School
  • Richard Piezuch Extension Master Gardener
  • Marjorie Pretz Farm Bureau Association
  • Linda Prothe Miami County Conservation District
  • Charlene Weiss Miami County Environmental Health
  • Judy Welter Paola School District, USD #368

Financial assistance for this project has been provided by an EPA-Section 319 Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Grant C9007405 99(3889 9591) through the Kansas Department of Health and Environment in cooperation with Kansas State Research and Extension.

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