See more from this Session: Experiential Learning and Action Education: II
Monday, October 17, 2011
Henry Gonzalez Convention Center, Hall C, Street Level
Most of the students in Agronomy 305: Soils are not Agronomy majors. An increasing number of Agronomy 305 students come from urban and suburban communities and/or have interest in working in urban environments upon completion of their undergraduate degree. An urban soils laboratory was developed in response to the demographics of students enrolled in the Agronomy 305 course. The urban soils curriculum was designed as a hands-on, semester-long, lab format. In the spring of 2011, two of the five laboratory course sections were taught with an emphasis on urban soil quality issues at the Manhattan Community Garden site in Manhattan, Kansas. Throughout the semester students evaluated the physical, chemical, and biological properties of a soil from this urban community garden. Some tests were conducted in the lab while others were completed at the urban garden site. Reaction of students to the new urban soils lab offering has been positive with 72% of students enrolled in the course reporting that they have interest and need in learning about the urban soil issues covered in the lab course. Overall, student responses about their learning experience in the urban soils laboratory course were positive, indicating that incorporating urban soil principles enhanced their soil science education.