Hundreds enjoy AEP’s outdoor educational event

| May 17, 2018

Kaylee Brehm from Keene Elementary School had the chance to make rain appear on the Coshocton Soil and Water Conservation District new watershed sandbox, which is computer operated. Josie Sellers | Beacon

CONESVILLE – Kaylee Brehm and Weston Lautenschleger got the chance to make it rain at the AEP Conesville Outdoor Educational Event.

“It was so much fun,” Brehm said.

The Keene Elementary School sixth graders helped Deb Bigelow, program administrator for the Coshocton Soil and Water Conservation District with a presentation using her office’s new watershed sandbox.

“We received grant money from the Coshocton Foundation and Ryan (Medley) and Zach (Wallace) built it for us and programmed the computer to make the graphics work. We hope it will help people better understand the watershed concept and will definitely help us explain contour maps better. I think we can impact a lot of people with it.”

Lautenschleger definitely had fun helping her out.

“It was pretty interesting,” he said.

The Coshocton Soil and Water Conservation District station was just one of 23 that students stopped at during AEP’s event that was held on May 16. Several of the activities were held at the plant and others were at the Boy Scout Camp and the Wills Creek Dam.

“We do this because it’s good for our community and it’s a lot of fun,” said Heather Hardesty, the main coordinator of the event.

Jandi Adams’ station on bugs at the Boys Scout Camp had some students saying, “cool” and others a little grossed out.

“I tell them we are talking about zombie insects because this is all about parasitic bugs,” said Adams, who is the director of Clary Gardens. “We talk about how parasites choose their host and eat from within. We get pretty detailed.”

Another stop at the Boy Scout Camp included the chance to learn about animals.

Students from Coshocton Elementary School had the opportunity to learn about sheep from Elaine Ashcraft who was one of the presenters at the AEP Conesville Outdoor Educational Event. Josie Sellers | Beacon

Magi Asire and Skylynn Morris, students at Coshocton Elementary School, liked visiting with Elaine Ashcraft’s sheep, which they both said were soft and fluffy.

“So far this is my favorite station,” Asire said.

Back at the plant students from Sacred Heart School were learning about water clarification at one of their stops.

“I like teaching kids and getting them involved in science,” said presenter Jim Chavis, a chemical engineer who does work for AEP.

Sacred Heart sixth grader Mattalyn Kiser enjoyed the session.

“I like learning about science,” she said.

Kiser’s classmate Jackson Smith was excited to see the Coshocton County Sheriff’s Office put on its K-9 demonstration.

“I like animals,” he said.

More than 600 fifth and sixth grade students from Adamsville, Conesville, Coshocton Elementary, Keene, Ridgewood, Sacred Heart, Union, Warsaw, and some homeschoolers participated in the event. Community members donated their time to discuss their areas of expertise and more than 75 AEP employees and retirees volunteered for the day.

“They have fun and you can tell they enjoy doing it,” Hardesty said.

In addition to the volunteers, she also is very appreciative of those who made donations to the educational event. WESCO donated water and United Rentals of Marietta donated the tables and chairs for use for the day.




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Category: Education, Multimedia, Photo Galleries

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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