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Symmes Valley students get a lesson

Willow Wood – Junior high science students at Symmes Valley Multi-Level school spent Thursday learning how streams cause erosion.

Friday, March 23, 2001

Willow Wood – Junior high science students at Symmes Valley Multi-Level school spent Thursday learning how streams cause erosion.

Matthew Capper, the education coordinator for the Lawrence County Soil and Water Conservation District, showed the students how a stream’s flow can cause erosion and what measures can be taken to prevent stream bank erosion.

He also explained terms such as floodplain and showed the students practices used in watershed management. The display used by Capper, called a Streamulator, shows in miniature scale the effect water has on soil.

To model a stream flow, the display is filled with soil and then Capper created two streams. He used a straight stream and a curved stream, dubbed a meandering stream, that empties into a pool. The device also includes two water jets that simulate water coming into a stream akin to water runoff that would occur in a rainstorm.

Capper explained that water in a straight flowing stream has a greater velocity than water in a meandering stream. The results, Capper showed the students, was in the pool where the streams empty. The area in front of the straight flowing stream filled with runoff soil and pebbles faster than the meandering stream.

Capper said the conservation district emphasizes the importance of educating children about soil and water conservation efforts. He said students apply what they learn in school later in life.

He added that the students enjoy the hands-on experiment methods used to teach the conservation lessons.

Capper said any of the educational programs offered by the conservation district is available to all schools in the county.