Case study: Centre for Soil Science Education – Soil Museum, Karków

Photo acknowledgement: Barbara Maćkiewicz 

Centre for Soil Science Education – Soil Museum, Karków

Established in 2012, the Centre for Soil Science Education Karków, is the first institution in Poland and one of the few in Europe dedicated to professional soil science education. It operates within the Department of Forest Ecology and Silviculture at the Faculty of Forestry of the University of Agriculture in Kraków. Its focus is on soil science education across all education levels, aiming to foster an understanding of soil science and its importance in sustainable land management practices. 

The Museum of Soil is an integral part of the Centre and is the first and currently only soil museum found in Poland.  

The Centre employs various teaching methods, including lectures, discussions, demonstrations, observations, hands-on tasks, and group activities. 

Objective

The objectives of the Centre for Soil Science Education include: 

  • Acquiring and enhancing knowledge of soil and its functions in the natural environment and human life. 
  • Raising awareness about soil contamination issues and the importance of soil protection. 
  • Promoting understanding of soil and its significance in the natural environment and human activities. 

Approach

The Centre for Soil Science Education in Kraków offers a number of educational opportunities: 

  • Soils of Europe exhibition showing 76 soil cross-sections, illustrating the characteristic soil types of the climatic and vegetation zones of the European continent with touchscreen monitors providing additional information. 
  • Museum lessons: “In the world of soils” lessons are tailored to all levels of education and are available for a fee, with exemptions for students of the Agricultural University of Cracow. 
  • Soil monoliths: The Centre produces soil monoliths upon request, which serve as valuable additions to exhibitions and educational classes on soils. These monoliths are adhesive-fixed fragments of soil profiles from specified locations and are suitable for indoor and outdoor display, provided they are protected from moisture and dust. 
  • Soil profiling kits: Soil profiling kits, distributed and used by the Centre, offer an engaging educational tool for creating mini soil profiles. These kits include soil samples from various horizons, allowing users to construct profiles of podzolic, rusty, and chernozem soils. 

 

The Centre’s advantage lies in its ability to conduct educational classes using exhibits and actual soil cross-sections, providing insight into the conditions beneath our feet. Classes are conducted by faculty members of the University of Agriculture in Kraków and invited experts. 

Link for further information

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