Begawan’s Eco Warriors are currently learning about soil and farming during thematic lessons. They focus on various things about soil, including the significance, functions, types, layers, pH level, soil erosion, soil conservation, biodiversity in the soil, and the chronic condition of soil in the current world. In addition, they are also studying the concept and application of regenerative farming, such as soil tillage, the rice cycle, rice germination, how to make organic fertilizer and pesticides, the guild planting system, and many more. All of these materials are delivered through hands-on learning experiences (Learning by Doing) in Begawan’s Learning Centre, rice field and garden. An example of such learning experiences was depicted when the students learned about soil pH and types of soil.
In August, Begawan’s Eco Warriors learned about soil pH (a measurement of the acidity and alkalinity in soils). They explored what soil pH means, the function of measuring soil pH, the impacts of different level of soil pH on plant growth and health, browsed information about how to neutralize acidic and alkaline soils using tablets, and directly practiced measuring soil pH using a pH-moisture meter. In these learning activities, the students enriched their knowledge that soil pH level is one of major indicators of whether the soil is suitable for planting plants or not. Soils that are too acidic or alkaline should be given the necessary treatments before planting. It should be conditioned in such a way to make it neutral (pH level between 6.5 – 7.5). More importantly, the students also directly practiced using the pH-moisture metre to measure soil pH in different locations around the learning centre. As a result, the students learned how to use the tool and understand the soils around the Learning Centre which have a neutral pH level, and are thus suitable for growing a variety of plants..
Learning by Doing about Soil
At the end of this session, the Begawan’s Eco Warriors also learned about different types of soils. Begawan’s Education Team provided some soil samples taken from different places, such as Begawan’s rice field, the garden, the riverside, and the compost pit. Some soil samples from places around the Learning Centre were also taken for the students to observe. The students were challenged to observe and feel these soil samples to find out which ones have the brightest and the darkest colours, and which ones have the smoothest and roughest textures. They took turns to directly touch, feel, and observe the soil samples and then discussed the answers with their group. Finally, they discussed as a group and decided which type of soil is the best for agriculture. (Ircham Maulana)