Public Information Campaign: Soil Erosion, Conservation, and Watershed Health

Kathryn Szramek, Drake University

Author Profile


Students in groups of two create a 4-minute educational video, brochure, and poster on an aspect of soil erosion, soil conservation, and/or watershed health for agricultural regions within the midwestern states. This is a half term project and the materials are presented in a forum towards the end of the semester. The project is aimed to help students learn to pitch science to a wide audience and provide practice (indirectly) applying scientific principles to conservation efforts.

Used this activity? Share your experiences and modifications



Undergraduate major/non major environmental science course. Students with all types of backgrounds

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

Before the project the course covers soil erosion processes in the classroom and the field.

How the activity is situated in the course

This is a culminating project that occurs over about 6 weeks with check points along the way.


Content/concepts goals for this activity

soil erosion, soil conservation, and watershed health.

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

Synthesis of ideas, critical evaluation of soil conservation methods, and development of a region specific conservation model.

Other skills goals for this activity

Writing, presentation skills using various platforms (poster, brochure, and video), research using WWW, government, and library resources.

Description and Teaching Materials

Half semester project on soil erosion, soil conservation, and watershed health.

Student Handout for Soil Conservation Campaign (Acrobat (PDF) 78kB Apr30 13)

Teaching Notes and Tips

The main problem I have with this is ensuring students really focus on the region. I meet with them as the project progresses to make sure that they keep focused on the region.

The videos are generally well done. I find that I need almost no intervention with the videos because most students have some experience and since I keep the video production open they can play to their strengths.


Students present their campaigns at a forum where they introduce their materials.
The project is graded on the quality of information, degree of tailoring the information to the region, proper citations/references, and overall professional look to the campaign.

References and Resources