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These students in Debra Mayers' Biological Science for Educators class (BIO 100) at Missouri State University-West Plains participated in an Earth Team partnership program between the university and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), preparing and teaching lessons about conservation practices to area youngsters this fall.  Front row from left: Britney Bews, Mtn. View; Autumn Baldwin, Buffalo; Emily Eckman and Shelby Simpson, both of Thayer; Emily Yeager, Dora; Anyta Cavitt, West Plains; Tori Shelton, Cabool; and Olivia Robertson, West Plains.  Back row:  Sarah Aimich, Myrtle; Katie Morris, French Village, Mo.; Stacy Dollins, Pomona; Kristal Casey, Koshkonong; Kristal Rollette, West Plains; Andrea Slinger, Cabool; and Paydon Guernsey and Amanda Arnold, both of West Plains.  (Missouri State-West Plains Photo)

These students in Debra Mayers’ Biological Science for Educators class (BIO 100) at Missouri State University-West Plains participated in an Earth Team partnership program between the university and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), preparing and teaching lessons about conservation practices to area youngsters this fall. Front row from left: Britney Bews, Mtn. View; Autumn Baldwin, Buffalo; Emily Eckman and Shelby Simpson, both of Thayer; Emily Yeager, Dora; Anyta Cavitt, West Plains; Tori Shelton, Cabool; and Olivia Robertson, West Plains. Back row: Sarah Aimich, Myrtle; Katie Morris, French Village, Mo.; Stacy Dollins, Pomona; Kristal Casey, Koshkonong; Kristal Rollette, West Plains; Andrea Slinger, Cabool; and Paydon Guernsey and Amanda Arnold, both of West Plains. (Missouri State-West Plains Photo)

(West Plains) – Students in Debra Mayers’ Biological Science for Educators (BIO 100) class at Missouri State University-West Plains this fall once again partnered with the United States Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to become Earth Team volunteers and teach conservation practices in area schools as part of a service learning project.

This is the fifth semester Mayers’ students have participated in the project, officials said. The partnership began in 2010.

The biology students visited classrooms at area preschools, elementary schools and middles schools, as well as several area groups of 4-H and Boy Scout members, teaching lessons related to conserving, maintaining and improving our nation’s natural resources. In all, the student educators provided lessons for 153 children in classrooms and clubs in Mtn. View, Cabool, Thayer and West Plains.

Officials estimate the biology students volunteered 142 hours to prepare and present the lessons, which included such concepts as pollution, cohesion, water conservation, recycling and the water cycle.

At the close of the partnership project this month, Mayers’ students shared highlights of their teaching experiences with Mayers, their classmates and April Wilson, NRCS district conservationist and local Earth Team coordinator. Wilson presented each student with a letter of appreciation for their community service as Earth Team volunteers and valued members of the NRCS conservation team.

Mayers will teach Biological Science for Educators again during the 2015 fall semester and said she is looking forward to continuing her partnership with NRCS.

For more information about the Earth Team project, contact Wilson at 417-256-7117 or april.wilson@mo.usda.gov.

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