- Sponsorship -

Planting Seeds of Knowledge

Mobile Lab Teaches Students about Farming


Murray Lake Elementary kindergartners filed into a 40-foot mobile classroom parked just outside their school, and prepared to be quizzed on their knowledge of agriculture.

First question: what is agriculture?

“I think it is soil,” said Rosalee Romano.

Another student guessed it had to do with vitamins for plants.

Rosalee Romano asks, “Want to see my seed?”

A third recognized and called out a combine on the screen behind Lindsay Grasman, a science lab educator at Food, Agriculture & Resources in Motion (FARM). Farmers use combines, he said.

“And what does a farmer do?” Grasman asked.

Rosalee bounced in place in her rainbow-colored sneakers, her hand raised high. “He helps the plants and the animals on his farm, just like I do when I feed the pig with my dad.”

Every kindergartner got to be a farmer of sorts by planting a corn or green bean seed into a biodegradable pot of peat, which they were invited to take home and grow. Other grades studied different areas such as renewable and nonrenewable resources, and the impact of temperature on food and bacteria growth.

“They love the hands-on aspect of it,” Grasman said. “A lot of them are realizing they know more than they think. But a third-grader did tell me last week, ‘You just blew my mind.’ ”

Murray Lake is one of three Kent ISD districts piloting the FARM program through the Michigan Farm Bureau’s Agriculture in the Classroom initiative. It continues through June at schools in Oakland County.

Kindergartner Emilia Maroto, in multicolored shirt, waits for a turn to look at seeds of Deidra Uzarski, left, and Evangeline Trujillo

The purpose, Grasman said, is to help teach students about how food gets to the table and the role of agriculture in their lives. The mobile lab is equipped with tablets and other technologies for presenting lessons tied to Next Generation Science Standards, a set of teaching guidelines for kindergarten through 12th-graders.

Murray Lake first-grade teachers have been working with the Farm Bureau to bring science through agriculture into their classrooms. This year students have been visited by a pair of calves and, most recently, received eggs to be incubated in their classrooms.

Agriculture is Michigan’s second largest industry, contributing more than $101 billion to the state’s economy, according to the Michigan Agriculture in the Classroom website. Michigan produces more than 300 commodities, making it the state with the second most diverse agriculture industry in the nation, behind California.

CONNECT

Michigan Agriculture in the Classroom

Lindsay Grasman, FARM science lab educator, asks teacher Rosa Lancioni’s kindergartners what farmers grow

- Sponsorship -
Morgan Jarema
Morgan Jarema
Morgan Jarema is a reporter and copy editor, covering East Grand Rapids, Forest Hills and Northview. She is a Grand Rapids native and a product of Grand Rapids Public Schools, including Brookside and West Leonard elementaries, City Middle/High School and Ottawa Hills. She found her tribe in journalism in 1997 and has never wanted to do anything but write. For 15 years she was a freelance journalist for The Grand Rapids Press, covering local schools and government, religion, business, home & garden and lifestyles. She and her husband, John, think even those without kiddos should be invested in their local schools and made to feel a part of them. Read Morgan's full bio or email Morgan.

LATEST ARTICLES

Young constitutional scholars view current events, politics through historical lens

East Grand Rapids and East Kentwood high school We the People team members have qualified for the national competition, becoming well versed in civics and critical thinking along the way...

Rain gutter regatta showcases buoyancy, engineering skills

An annual boat race has become a highlight of sixth-grade science class. At stake: bragging rights and 'a goofy trophy'...

The Hood family: a school & community leadership dynasty

Five generations have lived within a five- to six-mile radius dating back to a government work program in the 1930s...

The sky’s the limit (or is it?) for this accomplished model builder

Creative, innovative, imaginative … Many of today’s students are all that and more in a vast variety of interest areas. This series features students with exceptional and unusual gifts...

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles

Rain gutter regatta showcases buoyancy, engineering skills

An annual boat race has become a highlight of sixth-grade science class. At stake: bragging rights and 'a goofy trophy'...

Nate Fowler named new superintendent for Lowell Area Schools

Interim superintendent given the nod by Lowell Board of Education to lead the district...

Schools, organizations step up to feed students, families

Area schools continue to provide free grab and go meals at regular distribution events and community partners are helping to fill in the gaps to make sure everyone is fed during a very challenging time...
- Sponsorship -

HOW'S SCHOOL TODAY?

Engagement: The Most Important Measure of Student Success

Polls find that students’ engagement in their school work declines as they ascend the grades. Tests that don’t relate to their real-life experiences exacerbate the problem...

RADEMACHER & FRIENDS

Food ‘angels’ support hungry kids through pandemic

They work all across Kent County, guardian angels with peanut butter on their hands and crumbs on their shirtsleeves...
- Sponsorship -

MEDIA PARTNERS

Maranda Where You LiveWGVU

SUSTAINING SPONSORS