Local school gets to dig into soil science

As part of celebrating National Ag Week, Geauga County Farm Bureau purchased a Fertilizer Fun Box through Nutrients for Life Foundation to give sixth-grade students the chance to dig into soil science. This year’s Fertilizer Fun Box was donated to Ms. Amy Hochschild’s class at Burton Elementary.

Each Fertilizer Fun Box contains multiple hands-on educational soil science activities that focus on the importance of soil, fertilizer and the 4R stewardship efforts of farmers. Educators receive classroom sets of Nutrients for Life resources, lab materials to aid in the completion of NPK testing, soil porosity and permeability as well as regional soil samples, and an introduction into the life of a 4R advocate.

“I’m so excited to receive this for my classroom,”  Hochschild said, who was referred to as the Mrs. Frizzle of Burton Elementary for all of her energy, passion, and efforts in engaging her students in various creative and fun learning experiences.  Some of those included her creation of a land lab at the former Claridon Elementary School, coordinating Burton Elementary School’s 6th Grade Camp, serving as the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (S.T.E.M.) Club advisor at the school with more than 50 participants, in addition to being the Science Olympiad advisor as well.

To further align with the district’s commitment to Project Based Learning,  Hochschild has even developed a hands-on soil unit, where students will work with local farmers and community members to improve soil quality in the area. In 2019, Hochschild was recognized as Ohio Conservation Teacher of the Year in the elementary category by the Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts.

Photo: L to R: Katie Nainiger, H2Know Watershed Coordinator, Nutrients for Life Foundation; Amy Hochschild, Burton Elementary Teacher; Mandy Orahood, Geauga County Farm Bureau Organization Director; and Kristen Sirna, Geauga County Farm Bureau board trustee.