New Soil and Water Curriculum for Youth out of Purdue Extension

Purdue Extension has recently developed a new youth education curriculum for Indiana 4-H that focuses on two of the most important natural resources: soil and water.  The digital and online program is designed for young students of all ages and progresses in nuance and detail throughout the course of three levels of the curriculum.

Girls participate in soil and water curriculumLevel 1 introduces basic terms and concepts for youth in grades 3-5.  Level 2 activities, for youth in grades 6-8, help participants put basic skills into action to understand more complex soil and water concepts and interactions with the environment.  Level 3, for youth in grades 9-12, are divided into chapters based on how each student might use the information in them—as a homeowner, as a resident of a watershed, as a food and fiber producer, and as a mayor, teacher, or legislator.  The Level 3 manual helps prepare high school students to be well informed and prepared to study similar topics at a college, university, or post-high school environment.

Throughout the three levels of the curriculum, youth are encouraged to supplement their knowledge and learning experience by consulting with soil and water science leaders and educators from governmental and higher education sources.

The program aims to develop and spark interest in natural resources from a young age.  With Facilitator’s Guides written for each youth manual, nurturing this interest is a lot easier.  The guides include information about learning goals, life skills, experiential learning, youth development stages, answers to questions in the youth manual, and suggestions to enhance all of the activities.

The manuals can be downloaded at Purdue Extension’s The Education Store, for a small fee.  The activities are available to anyone who wants to expand and grow youth natural resource education, as long as Purdue Extension is credited.

For questions or additional information, contact program leader Natalie Carroll at


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