Mobile Ag Lab visits Myers Elementary School
MUNCY – Once again Myers Elementary School hosted the mobile Agricultural Science Lab at their school last week for all students to enjoy and learn more about farming and agriculture.
The lab is sponsored by the Pennsylvania Friends of Agriculture Foundation and it is one of 7 that travel to schools and organizations throughout the Commonwealth. Its mission is to preserve and promote agriculture, Pennsylvania’s largest industry.
The 32 foot long lab arrived Friday, October 1 and classes started to experience the hands-on activities throughout the week of October 4. A professional curriculum is developed for each grade level and the kids leave the lab with a new appreciation and enthusiasm for agriculture.
Sarah Booth from Hughesville was the instructor for the week as six 40 minute classes came in each day to make body bugs, glue from milk, plastic from corn or crayons from soybeans among many other captivating experiments. Ms. Booth worked with the elementary teachers to prepare lessons that coordinated with their regular lessons for each of the grades K through 6. Jaime Karichner, a substitute teacher with Muncy School District was hired for the week to assist the classes and teachers with the lab. “The lessons we cover are very well organized,” she commented. “Everything is supplied and ready for our use.”
“These activities are great as it teaches children problem solving skills,” Booth said who is one of 27 teachers employed with the lab. “It is a walk-through curriculum. I start with a lesson then follow up with a hands-on activity and then review with a craft.” For example, second graders made a bug and the older students did a water analysis. The following day she had a lesson prepared on making pizza and lip balm from soy beans. This way the children will learn the source of their food and how agriculture plays an important role in our economic society. “This is really a model program. Students are engaged and excited about agricultural science. Our role is to bring awareness to these kids.” Booth said she will be in Bloomsburg the week of Oct. 11 and before coming to Muncy she was in Middleburg. The Science Lab is in constant use during the school year.
The traveling program is housed in Camp Hill and it is now in its 7th year. Muncy School District’s parent teacher organization helps to fund the lab as well as private individuals and groups around Pennsylvania.