Western Wayne’s Robert D. Wilson Elementary School hosted a special event the week of November 27. The Pennsylvania Farm Bureau’s Mobile Agriculture Education Science Lab came to the school for students pre-kindergarten to fifth grade to enjoy.
The opportunity was afforded to the students through funding provided by the Wayne County Farm Bureau, a Soybean Council Grant and Robert D. Wilson PTA.
The Pennsylvania Farm Bureau’s Mobile Agriculture Education Science Lab creates an opportunity for students to learn about agriculture (Pennsylvania’s number one industry) in a fun and hands-on-way.
“With fewer children having a tie to farming, we created the Ag Lab program to help teachers educate more students about the importance of agriculture,” said PF President Rick Ebert.
Students enter the lab to perform science experiments that teach lessons focused on farm, food, fiber and the environment. Mobile Lab visits to schools are coordinated with the preparation of teachers and their classes for the science experiments. A certified teacher travels with the lab to lead each class in the science experiments. The lab is equipped with all the materials and supplies needed for the experiments.
Examples of the experiments that are taught in the lab include: germinating seed under different conditions, creating crayons from soybeans, and testing the water capacity of different soils. A Mobile Lab can educate up to 900 students and involve up to 30 teachers per week.
At R.D., first grade participated in an experiment called Popcorn Capers. Students engaged in conversation with Paula Brennan, Mobile Ag Lab Teacher, and enjoyed a story about corn, how it grows, where it grows, and its many uses. Students then completed a sink and float activity including a corn kernel and a popped kernel of corn along with a variety of other common objects with varying degrees of air (rice crispies, cheese ball, raisins to name a few).
In addition, Kindergarten participated in an experiment called Farm Charm where prompted by conversation, the students and teacher built a farm and made connections between the various components of a farm. Student made a Farm Charm to wear which symbolized all the components of a farm (sun, water, cows, pigs, chickens, soil and more).
All of the Western Wayne Elementary students and staff greatly enjoyed their experiences with the Mobile Lab and hope to have more of these unique educational experiences in the future.