Earth Day Guest Speaker Presentations

Thank you for your interest in the Indiana Department of Environmental Mangement’s (IDEM) Earth Day School Presentations. We have already filled all the slots available for this school year (April 2017). We do offer presentations throughout the summer and during the regular school year. If you are interested in requesting a presentation for another time, please contact education@idem.in.gov.

Presentation Descriptions

IDEM offers free hands-on classroom presentations to Indiana elementary schools in April of every year. IDEM employees across all disciplines volunteer to present fun, engaging, and informative presentations that provide students with examples of environmental careers while teaching them about our environment.

Air Quality

Indiana’s Environment and You Puzzle
3rd - 6th Grades (Can Be Done with Younger Students)

Summary: Students will learn that air is an invisible but tangible substance that enters their body’s every day and that wind carries air pollution around the world.

Objectives: Students will

  1. Learn to recognize air as an actual substance rather than “blank space” by using their sense of smell.
  2. Realize how invisible substances are part of their world.
  3. Learn how wind moves air pollution around the world.

Recycling

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Your Trash
Kindergarten - 3rd Grade

Summary: Students will look at how they can reduce the amount of trash thrown away by reusing, recycling, or composting items they would otherwise throw away.

Objectives: Students will

  1. Sort trash into categories.
  2. Recognize that everyone contributes to and is responsible for the amount of trash created each day.
  3. Discuss simple ways they can divert the amount of trash sent to landfills.
Recycling Relay
3rd - 6th Grades (Can Be Done with Younger Students)

Summary: Students gain an understanding of natural resources used to make recyclable items, where the items go if not recycled, and how to complete the recycling loop.

Objectives: Students will

  1. Learn what natural resources are used to make products.
  2. Understand the recycling process.
  3. Explore simple ways they can recycle.
The Wonderful World of Worms
Kindergarten - 6th Grades

Summary: Students will explore how red worms can compost their food waste.

Objectives: Students will

  1. Learn about worm biology.
  2. Understand how worms turn food waste into compost.
  3. Discuss how composting with worms can divert the amount of trash sent to landfills.

Land Quality

Edible Landfill*
2nd - 6th Grades (Can Be Done with Younger Students)

* Please note that teachers are responsible for purchasing the supplies (spoons, pudding, M&M’s, etc.) for this presentation.

Summary: Students will learn their trash does not just go away.

Objectives: Students will

  1. Learn trash is commonly referred to as solid waste.
  2. Discover how landfills manage solid waste.
  3. Explore how landfills are not holes in the ground, but complicated engineered structures that require years of permitting and construction work.
  4. Construct a landfill out of piecrust, pudding, M&M's, etc. This program is a lot of fun and can be done with young students as long as there is plenty of adult help.
How Long Does Your Trash Last?
3rd - 6th Grades

Summary: Students will learn that commonplace items that are ‘thrown away’ do not go away. The most prevalent disposal method is landfilling. Students will discuss the effects of landfill design on how long trash lasts.

Objectives: Students will

  1. Learn about landfills and How they are constructed.
  2. Discover how long different items take to degrade.
  3. Discuss simple things they can do to help divert the amount of trash sent to landfills.

Water Quality

Incredible Journey
Kindergarten - 6th Grade

Summary: With a roll of the die, students simulate the movement of water within the water cycle.

Objectives: Students will

  1. Describe the movement of water within the water cycle.
  2. Identify the states of water as it moves through the water cycle.
  3. Identify the processes (i.e. evaporation, condensation, precipitation) at work that move water through the water cycle.
  4. Discuss the importance of water protection and conservation.
Sum of the Parts
3rd - 6th Grades (Can Be Done with Younger Students)

Summary: Students demonstrate how everyone contributes to the pollution of a river as it flows through a watershed, and recognize that everyone has the ability to reduce their contribution.

Objectives: Students will

  1. Distinguish between point and non-point source pollution (NPS).
  2. Recognize that everyone contributes to and is responsible for a river’s water quality.
  3. Identify Best Management Practices (BMPs) to reduce pollution on the river and its environment.

Enviroquiz

3rd - 12th Grades

Enviroquiz is a fun interactive way for students to play, cooperate, and learn about the environment while playing in a "game show" setting.

Pollution Prevention (P2)

P2 at Home
3rd - 6th Grades

Summary: Students will learn that P2 focuses on ways to avoid producing pollution in the first place. P2 requires replacing the "throw it away" mentality with critical thinking about the environmental consequences of daily activities and practices. It protects our health and environment by reducing the need to protect ourselves from the harmful effects of pollution. P2 can also conserve natural resources, improve process efficiency, and save money. This activity will focus on ways students can take action around the home to prevent pollution in their community.

Objectives: Students will

  1. Discuss the environmental impact of pollution and ways to reduce waste and conserve natural resources.
  2. Apply critical thinking and problem-solving skills to the hierarchy of ‘waste management practices’ to evaluate P2 actions that they can employ around the home.
  3. Learn attitudes and behaviors that build lasting responsibility for a sustainable environment.