Ecologist School logo

Choose Learning Type ▼

Soil Observation


Compare Soils

Find a comfortable outdoor spot, where you can explore soil and dig around a bit! Find two different types of soil, then observe and compare colors, textures, plants, and size of particles. Next, gently squeeze a handful of each soil. Does one hold together better than the other? Does one keep more water? Why do you think the two soils are different? Why do we need many types of soil?
Travis Assets - Geo 4

Science Seed

Soil is the layer of earth made up of tiny pieces of rocks, minerals, organic matter, and living organisms, providing a home and nutrients for plants to grow. Different soils have different jobs. For example, Some plants like soil that’s soft and fluffy, while others prefer soil that’s a bit rougher. Some soils are really good at holding onto water, while others let water flow through quickly. Different kinds of soil have different homes for tiny creatures and different types of soil can even help support buildings in different ways. Knowing the soil’s characteristics helps engineers and builders make sure our homes are safe and steady.
botany jar illustration

earn Badges

Badges can be earned through hands-on experiences within each of the 16 branches of science, or “Science Slices.” You can earn a badge in each branch of science by doing four activities in these categories. We also encourage participants to keep a Nature Journal to record their memories, and to express themselves creatively through writing or drawing after each activity. We recommend that each child (and parent if they’d like) write or draw in a journal after each activity, with expectations of your children that match their age (the goal is self-expression, not perfection).

Explore the Travis Elementary

Use this map to help you guide your way through the Travis Elementary as you complete activities.

join Families in Nature

It is our vision to inspire all families to fall in love with nature and foster the next generation of conservationists. Becoming a member of Families in Nature will give your family the opportunity to have adventures in nature, experience field science, develop as youth conservation leaders, and make memories that will last a lifetime. Memberships are free for everyone.

Who are we?

Families in Nature works to create opportunities for nature connection with the purpose of sparking a deep love and desire to protect, conserve and restore the environment. Our mission is to connect children and their families to nature and to each other through time spent learning, playing, and volunteering outdoors. It is our vision to inspire ALL families to fall in love with nature and foster the next generation of conservationists.

SPARK’s mission is to work with public schools to develop their playgrounds into community parks. SPARK has built 200+ community parks in 17 different school districts throughout the Houston area. Each park is designed based on ideas and needs of the school and surrounding neighborhoods. While all of the parks are different, a typical park consists of modular playground equipment, a walking trail, benches, picnic tables, trees, an outdoor classroom, and a public art component.

Skip to content