The Johnson County SWCD provides free education for classrooms and other youth groups. Below is a list of topics our Education Coordinator can present to your classroom. The SWCD provides these and many more lessons for students. If you are interested in one of these presentations or would like to discuss how the SWCD can help you, please contact our Education Coordinator at or (317) 736- 9540 Ext. 101. You can also book a presentation using our website calendar below, and Blair will contact you directly. 

Please specify your grade level and the number of students in the “notes” box.



Classroom Presentation Desriptions

The Water Cycle: With a four-part foldable we will work through the water cycle with your students. Students learn all parts of the water cycle, why water is a non-renewable resource, and how they can conserve water. (1.PS.1; 2.ESS.4)

Watersheds: Our table top watershed will demonstrate how a watershed works. It will make the connection between land use and water quality in a visual demonstration. It can be coupled with an interactive Fred the Fish story that teaches kids the sources of water pollution. For older students, we can provide a documentary or scientific articles (K.ESS.4; 1.ESS.4; 4.ESS.4)

What’s the Solution to Pollution?: Students will “pollute waterways” with various pollutants and trash. Using tools they will remove what trash they can, but will find it can’t all be removed. Older students can be given a budget to purchase tools for their clean up. Better tools cost more money. They will see that a clean environment is priceless. (K-2.E.1; 3-5.E.1, 2; 4.ESS.4)

Growing Plants from Gardens to Grocery Stores: We will help your students to plant seeds after we learn the parts and needs of a plant through a coloring page or fill in the blank chart. We will discuss what plants need to grow, the different types of plants, pests, and pollinators. (K.LS.1,2,3; 1.LS.2; 3.LS.2,3 )

Soil Health and Composting (K-6): Let students become worm farmers! We will teach your students about vermicomposting, and why healthy soil is important. If worms aren’t your thing, we can still teach composting by sorting “waste” as a group and making compost in a cup. For soil health we will explain the difference between sand, silt, clay and the properties of soil. (1.ESS.2,3,4; 2.ESS.3,4; 4.ESS.4; Env.8.6)

Fred the Fish: We will bring a story to share with your class about our friend, Fred the Fish. Students will see how their daily decisions can threaten Fred’s home. 

We Need Wildlife, They Don’t Need Us: This lesson involves a presentation on the needs of animals and the services some animals provide to humans. We will then discuss what is threatening our wildlife, what it means to be endangered, and how we can practice conservation. We will end with a fun and semi-active game outdoors, or in the gym, that cements the idea of wildlife needs with the students. (K.ESS.4; 1.ESS.4; 4.ESS.4 Env 5.5)

American Environmental Policy: Students receive an overview of the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, and the Endangered Species Act (or just one). They will learn how different economic/policy tools (e.g. taxes, regulations, permits) can be used to protect our natural resource. They will then be presented with an environmental problem and work in groups for 15 minutes to propose a policy/economic solution. (8.ESS.3, Env 4.1,2; Env 6.3)

Renewable or Reckless: Students will learn to classify types of energy. They will then learn about the harms large scale agriculture can have on the environment (e.g. pesticides and erosion). They will then be given information (data, graphs, articles) about biofuels. We will work together to plan a short response essay to determine whether biofuels are a reliable energy source for the future. (6-8.E.1; 7.ESS.7; Env 2.4,7; Env 8.4)

Population Dynamics and Ecosystems: This lesson can be adapted for many ages. It includes either an educational presentation along with a short game or a graph interpretation and analysis. For AP students we work through synthesizing how the information can form a short response. (4.LS.2; Env 1.1)
Where in the World-Invasive Species: Implement geography into your science lessons by learning about invasive species and how they get to new places. We will have fun guessing where each species is from, and placing them on a map by their country of origin. Students will then use a four part organizer to plan a persuasive essay to prohibit the importation of invasive species. (K.ESS.4; 1.ESS.4; 4.LS.2, 6.LS.5)

For older students we will provide data and documents evaluate environmental threats of invasive species. We will then work through synthesizing how the information can form a short response. (B.3.3; Env1.2)

NOTE: Presentation length can be adjusted to your needs. As seen by the SEPS categorization, these programs can apply to a variety of levels. Contact our office to discuss how a program can be adjusted for your needs, including the incorporation of vocabulary, reading, and writing. Other program topics can include urban forestry, climate change due to farming, and pollution control via vegetation.



The SWCD, in conjunction with many other area agencies, routinely offers training and educational programs for educators and community groups.

Natural Resources Education Center (NREC) training opportunities.

The NREC offers a variety of natural resources education training for adults, including programs like Project WILD, Project WET, Project Learning Tree, and Go Fish IN. A description of each program is found on the NREC website. The current calendar of training opportunities for educators offered by the NREC is found here.

Hoosier Riverwatch

View the current Hoosier Riverwatch training schedule to find volunteer stream monitoring training near you. Click here.

If you are interested in having the SWCD Agricultural Technician or Education Coordinator lead an event for your group, please contact our office at


The Johnson County SWCD office offers numerous educational programs for students and youth groups throughout the year.

Boy Scout and Girl Scout troop badge activities

Homeschool Workshops

Conservation Youth Board

The Youth Board is made up of Johnson County students – grades 9 through 12 – who are interested in soil and water conservation. The Youth Board meets monthly from September to May. Each year the Johnson County SWCD Youth Board members participate in the annual “Pine Seedling Distribution.” This program consists of the distribution of approximately 2400 white pine seedlings (one to each fifth grade student in the county), along with a brief presentation on soil and water conservation and how to plant the trees.

Tom Bechman is the current YCB advisor.

National Stewardship Week

Every spring the Johnson County SWCD helps promote National Stewardship Week by supplying materials to local schools and churches willing to participate. Click here to order your materials today!