Skip to Content

Texas State Students Volunteer at Earth Day Meadows Center Celebration

students at earth day

Charlcee Cervantez || May 22, 2024

SAN MARCOS, Texas— To mark Earth Day, Texas State University students, aspiring educators in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction (C&I), lent their expertise to the Earth Day San Marcos Festival, which took place at the Meadows Center on Saturday, April 20th. This was a collaborative effort initiated by Dr. Forsythe, and Bess Price, the Education Manager at the Meadows Center.

The collaboration aimed to provide an enriching and safe experience for pre-service teachers to engage with children and families, fostering environmental education and community outreach. Students who took part in this event were enrolled in CI 2355, STEM in Early Childhood Education & Elementary Education taught by Dr. Sara Torres. The TXST students prepared, practiced, and facilitated five engaging stations, showcasing their dedication to hands-on learning and environmental stewardship.

At Station 1, participants delved into the world of geology with a rock identification activity. Designed to provide firsthand experience with various earth materials, this open-ended station allowed participants to explore rocks they may have never encountered before, as well as some varieties typically found in Central Texas.

Station 2 featured an Enviroscape Model, which is a miniature representation of a watershed complete with cities, roads, and industry. Participants learned about the impact of pollution on water quality as they simulated different scenarios in a city setting. These scenarios emphasized on the Meadows Centers’ goal of encouraging water conservation practices and responsible land-use in urban settings.

Station 3 involved a Soil Particle discovery activity which engaged participants in an exploration of soil types and particle sizes. In this station, children selected a soil type, which they placed in soil sieves. After shaking the sieves, the children and families disassembled the layers to discover the varying particle sizes of their original sample. This station fostered a deeper understanding of the earth beneath our feet.

In a nod to conservation, Station 4 was focused on learning about common birds in Central Texas that might visit a backyard birdfeeder. Children and their families created bird feeders out of toilet paper rolls, nut-butter, and bird seed. This station utilized all recycled materials in order to align with the Earth Day festival’s zero-waste requirements. 

Finally, Station 5 provided an opportunity for close observation of plants and other natural materials using field microscopes and magnifying viewers. This station encouraged participants to explore their curiosities and appreciate the intricacies of the natural world.

Students expressed gratitude for the opportunity to apply their classroom learning in a real-world setting. Kendall H., a participant, commended Torres for organizing the event, noting the unique opportunity it provided for practical application of their studies. 

"Thank you very much for setting up the Meadows Day Center Event on Earth Day!" Kendall wrote. "That was such a unique opportunity to get to practice what we are learning in class and apply that in a real-world setting."

The positive impact of the students' involvement was evident as many community members inquired if they were science majors, reflecting the effectiveness of their engagement and the impression they made on attendees.

The resounding positive reaction toward student participation at the Earth Day San Marcos festival serves as a testament to the power of collaboration between academia and community organizations. These efforts fostered an increased environmental awareness in teacher candidates at TXST, and impacted their confidence in facilitating outdoor, hands-on learning. The Meadows Center hosts this event annually, and the hope is to continue this partnership for many years to come.


Image Gallery