All seventh-graders countywide took part in a field trip to the Clay County 4-H Fairgrounds for the 2010 Nature Bowl, sponsored by the Clay County Soil and Water Conservation District.
Coordinator Jennifer McKee told The Brazil Times the annual event is organized to help students learn more about their surroundings.
"The main point is to learn about natural resources," McKee said, "and see some things that many kids will not get to see."
There were six stations set up at the fairgrounds Thursday during the event, including two for prairie grasses, one for soils, one for water quality, one for wildlife, one for forestry and one for recycling.
"This is a pre-prep for the Envirothon," McKee added.
The statewide Envirothon is a contest high schools send students to in order to compete against others while sharing information and knowledge regarding natural resources.
According to the Indiana Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts website (www.iaswcd.org), the Envirothon is a "competitive learning event for high-school aged students. Envirothon tests the student's knowledge of environmental resources, including soils, forestry, wildlife and current environmental issues."
"It is a huge competition," McKee said.
This year, the water quality station also included a Rainfall Simulator on loan from the Embarras River Management Association, associated with the Soil and Water Conservation District of Crawford and Lawrence counties in Illinois.
CCSWCD Technician David Schroer said the simulator would help students learn more about water runoff and its effects.
In Clay County, preparation begins early as seventh-graders are invited yearly to the Nature Bowl.
During Thursday's event, students were eventually split into groups and given quizzes at each station.
Clay City seventh-grade science teacher Eric Thompson said students learn quite a bit from the Nature Bowl.
"They'll get a lot of good information," Thompson said.
"They'll learn how to conserve natural resources and learn how to take care of the environment."