Early Career Members Showcase Importance Of Soil To School In Belfast

Mar 15, 2024 | Blog, Conference 2023, Featured Blog

BSSS Outreach Programme - Annual Conference 2023 - Belfast

Jay Ryan and Danni Roche from the BSSS Early Careers (EC) Committee visited a local school in Belfast with one of our loan boxes as part of the outreach programme for the Annual and Early Careers’ conferences. Here’s what they had to say about their outreach experience!

We joined the Year 6 class in the morning and started as a whole group with the jam jar experiment first to introduce the kids to soil. They were so eager to see and touch the soil samples and so we passed the jars with different soil types around the class. As the jars went round the kids were calling out about what they could see, what they knew about soil and how the different soil types differed from one another.

Whilst the soil in the jam jar experiment was settling (to understand how different soil types behave in water), we split into two groups; Jay would take one half for soil hand texturing and Danni would take the other half for the ‘super sponge’ experiment, and then they swapped. After the activities, we got the class back together for a ‘debrief’ and we came back to the jam jar experiment which had settled.

The kids were so excited to learn about soil. They had great fun getting their hands dirty with the soil from their outside garden (that we took on our way into the class), understanding how soil behaves in water and how different textures can hold different amounts of water, and they thoroughly enjoyed their soil-themed word searches at the end!

In our debrief session, we gave each child a post-it note to write one sentence about soil. Collectively, the class covered soils’ ability to provide clean air and water, a medium to grow food, a habitat for microorganisms and other animals, soil textures and types, and loads of facts about soil! Danni was particularly enthused with one post-it note that said ‘soil fixes everything’ and she knew that they had done their job right that day! Jay’s highlights were hearing a student say “soil is so cool” and seeing how exciting the kids became as they learnt how important soil is. The experience was thoroughly enriching for both us EC members and the children of Year 6.

We came away feeling inspired by the excitement and interest of these young individuals in soil science (albeit slightly knackered from all the excitement and questions in the room!). We look forward to another opportunity to do this again!


Danni Roche

Early Career Committee Chair

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