By Sam Wildow

PIQUA — Kids are already receiving hands-on learning in their second week back to school, as parks personnel and teachers teamed up to teach students how people impact an environment’s water supply.

The Miami County Parks District visited Piqua Central Intermediate School on Monday and Tuesday as part of their watershed program.

“It’s a program by the Miami County Parks,” PCIS teacher Joyce Bostick said. “Kids are learning about (how) what we do to the environment affects our water.”

Bostick gave the example of dumping chemicals on the ground. “If dump oil into our yard, it will eventually seep down into our water,” Bostick said.

The gym at PCIS was split up into approximately 12 different stations with various exhibits and hands-on demonstrations to teach the students about water, the environment, and people’s interactions with both.

“This is our watershed,” Miami County Parks District representative Kim Brumfield said at her station. Students were working with a model of a river in a large tub full of small rocks and sand to make their watershed, which is defined as “an area or ridge of land that separates waters flowing to different rivers, basins, or seas.”

“We are making a river, and we’re building our houses along the river,” Brumfield said. The demonstration showed students what happens when the river rises and floods the surrounding area as well as how erosion can occur.

“We’re talking about ways to help stop erosion,” Brumfield said. The students learned that by planting trees and grass, the roots of those plants can help hold the soil in place and prevent erosion.

At another station, students used small chocolate candies and sprinkles to simulate manure and colored dyes to simulate chemicals. They sprinkled the candies and dripped the colored dyes onto a diorama, which they then misted over with water in spray bottles to simulate rain. This exhibit demonstrated how manure, chemicals, and other things on the land can filter through the soil and seep into the water supply.

The demonstrations held Monday and Tuesday were a prelude to other events that the school will do in conjunction with the Miami County Parks District, including the fourth graders taking a field trip to Stillwater Prairie Reserve.

“It’s a great experience for teachers as well as students to work with the parks,” Bostick said about the partnership with the Miami County Parks District. “It’s nice for them to come in and for us to go to them during the school year to get that as part of our science curriculum.”

Reach Sam Wildow at or (937) 451-3336