For many fifth-grade students, soil is nothing more than the component of a soccer field or a softball diamond. But for Ms. Legoria’s fifth-grade class from West Dale Heights Academic Magnet School, soil became a whole lot more. The students visited the School of Plant, Environmental, and Soil Sciences (SPESS) in early November where they were assisted by Dr. David C. Weindorf
, Assistant Professor of Soil Classification. Weindorf discussed soil monoliths, soil features, and soil formation factors with the pupils.
“The students asked a lot of great questions,” said Weindorf, “We view a trip like this as a way to spark the student’s imagination with science in general.” Weindorf said the students were particularly interested in the Ruston soil series, which is the state soil of Louisiana. Weindorf discussed its key features, along with many other soils on display.
Students were led through research labs where they saw some of the advanced instrumentation used by soil scientists. Weindorf explained the uses of many of the instruments and encouraged students to continue studying sciences, offering to assist them in their studies.
“Years down the road, we may have these students in class one day,” Weindorf said, “So I’m willing to help them out. They’ll be sixth-graders next year, so I offered to help them when they work on their science fair projects.”