Youth Grant bring Mobile Ag Science Lab to Warren Students

Times Observer photos by Daniella Langianese AG Student Teacher — A Warren Elementary teacher helps third grade students explore the different aspects and exhibits of the Agricultural Mobile Lab.

Students from Warren Elementary School received a special educational treat recently with each grade taking turns exploring the Agricultural Mobile Lab.

The lab travels all over educating youth on the benefits of agriculture and its role in the success of future generations.

The Direct Agricultural and Youth Grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Hi-Ed was able to collaborate with the Pa. Friends of Agriculture to bring the mobile Ag Ed Science Lab to the Warren County Elementary students.

The hands-on learning approach employed by the Mobile Ag Ed Science Lab has proven to be highly effective in helping students understand the practical applications of agriculture concepts. Thursday, April 18 morning’s activities, titled “No Soil? Now What?” engaged third, fourth and fifth-grade classes in a thought-provoking exploration of alternative growing methods.

“This has been very fun and very silly as well. I get to have fun with my class and it’s awesome to get out of the school — this has been the best day of my life,” said third-grader Hazel.

A third grade class of Warren Elementary was very intrigued during their visit to the Agricultural Mobile lab on Thursday morning; Asking questions, exploring many different agricultural topics and getting their hands just a bit dirty.

This program, funded through the grant, is part of Hi-Ed’s broader School-to-Work partnership with the Warren County School District, aimed at enriching the educational experiences of elementary students.

Over the past months, the Mobile Ag Ed Science Lab has made significant strides in reaching students across Warren County.

Following a successful visit to Sheffield in March, the lab is scheduled to visit Youngsville Elementary and Warren Area Elementary in May. These visits not only expose students to agricultural concepts but also highlight the numerous career opportunities available in our rural area.

“I am the instructor with this lab. Pennsylvania has six labs and we travel all over Pennsylvania to teach children about farming, agriculture,” said Cathy Vorisea. “I really enjoy watching the kids’ faces when they see in this trailer, a day in the life full of agriculture. We have 12 posters on the wall. They [students] get up in the morning and get dressed and this lab teaches them that without a farmer they wouldn’t have their blue jeans, their t-shirts, they wouldn’t have socks and they wouldn’t have underwear, So it would be a very different world. This lab shows them just how much agriculture touches our lives.”

With only 1/32 of our Earth’s surface available for food production, the question of how to sustainably feed a projected world population of 9.2 billion people by the year 2050 becomes increasingly urgent. Hydroponics, growing without soil, is one potential solution that students had the opportunity to explore. Through hands-on experimentation, students gained insight into the need for alternative growing methods and even created their own hydroponic growing systems to test the feasibility of growing plants without soil.

This was only one of the activities. There were developmentally appropriate lessons scheduled all through the week for grades K-5. From the food on the table to the clothes worn each day, agriculture plays a pivotal role in providing for folks’ basic needs. Through engaging activities and discussions, students learned how many everyday items are all products of agricultural processes.

The impact of Hi-Ed’s efforts extends far beyond the classroom, laying the groundwork for future innovation and agricultural stewardship in all communities.


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