By: Kathy McDermott Goodman

MiltonNews DAILY Correspondent

Also published in the Weekly Record Herald on March 18, 2011

On Tuesday, March 8, Miami County Parks District employees visited Milton-Union Elementary School to teach the third grade classes all about rocks. The students learned about “Rocky the Rock” and his journey in becoming each of the three different types of rock – igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic. ‘All About Rocks’ will be the third grade part of a community-wide watershed show to be held on May 18, 2011.

The Elementary School is participating in a science program with the Miami County Parks District this year, called “Watersheds Alive!”. The program is implemented in five phases and teaches students about the watershed and different ways to improve water quality.

Students participated in Phase 1 back in late August/early September when park district naturalists visited the elementary classrooms and introduced the kids to the watershed with hands-on activities such as a stream table and a groundwater flow model.

Phase two took place at Stillwater Prairie Reserve with a watershed tour. Students were in the river investigating animal life in the Stillwater River and then visited the Wastewater Treatment Plant to see how water is treated and cleaned.

In the next phase, naturalists visited each grade level to help students adopt a watershed song as their class song. Students practiced the song, learned fun choreography and made costumes to wear during their participation in the watershed show.

Phase four involves celebrating the information learned by participating in the school day Watershed Festival and evening community watershed show. Students will perform their class song with the Banana Slug String Band while wearing the costumes they made and teaching others about water quality.

An action project will wrap up the program with groups of students taking part in a community wide storm drain stenciling project.

These programs are offered to local schools at no-cost through park district levy funds.

Miami Co. Park District employees explain all about rocks