4-H gets hands on the environment

By Jason Caudill

4-H Youth ProgramFourth and fifth graders in Oconee County are learning about their environment through hands-on lessons taught by 4-H leader Jason Caudill. He worked with school district administrators and teachers to develop the Oconee Kids Environmental Education (OKEE) program.

The one-day field trips to the Piedmont Forestry Center near Salem meet the S.C. Curriculum Standards and engage students in hands-on learning activities. Fourth graders conduct a stream assessment to measure water quality, learn about forestry, play a game that teaches about predator-prey relationships, measure the weather, and learn about Native American culture during a pow-wow.  Fifth graders conduct lessons on soils and wildlife.

“It embodies the 4-H principle of learning by doing,” Caudill said. The program serves students in eight elementary and middle schools in the county. Major funding is provided by Oconee County Council. Other partners include the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, the Natural Resource Conservation Service and the Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative.

For information: Jason Caudill, 864-638-5889, ext. 116, caudill@clemson.edu