- Sponsorship -

Food, farming, science come together in mobile lessons

Did you know disposable plates can be made from corn? To find out more, you might want to ask an Appleview Elementary fourth grader.

Just days before district schools were closed in March to help stem the spread of the coronavirus, fourth graders were treated to a visit from FARM Lab. The colorful, 40-foot mobile classroom, complete with work stations, was parked outside Appleview for a day of hands-on STEM-based lessons.

Fourth grader Braxton Watson tells classmates what he knows about his assigned product

FARM lab — which stands for Food, Agriculture & Resources in Motion — is the brainchild of a group of farmers working with 26 Michigan county farm bureaus, spearheaded by local dairy farmer Renee McCauley. Lessons align with Next Generation Science Standards. Through sponsorship by the Michigan Foundation for Agriculture, Michigan Agriculture in the Classroom works to increase agricultural literacy: understanding the value of agriculture as it affects daily life.

Appleview students were given everyday products such as corn oil and muffin mix and asked to check the packages for ingredient lists. They also played scientists as they checked for color, shape, weight and texture of materials such as plastic, styrofoam and a paper made from grain, as they tested for buoyancy. 

Students repeated their new knowledge about agriculture:

“I know there are lots of kinds of crops,” said one.

Said another: “A billion dollars is added to the economy every year because of farmers.”  

The mobile classroom has numerous computer stations

And this: “I already knew plastic stays in the landfill for a long time; I didn’t know cups could be made from corn.”

The event was initiated by teacher Linnea Hurley, a self-described “farm kid,” in an effort to “bring a heightened awareness to students in an area that offers many agricultural opportunities.” Hurley said that the FARM lab experience was partially funded through a Sparta Education Foundation grant and the Michigan Farm Bureau. Retired Appleview teachers Sue Blackall and Sherry McKellar helped staff the classroom with the experts on board.

- Sponsorship -
Janice Holst
Janice Holst
Janice Holst has been both a teacher and a journalist. A former MLive reporter, she wrote features and covered local government and schools for Advance Newspapers for nearly two decades. She also was a recipe columnist and wrote features for Mature Life Style and occasional entertainment pieces for On The Town magazines. She lives in Sparta Township and is thrilled to spend some of her retirement hours writing the stories of the northern Kent County school districts. Read Janice's full bio or email Janice.

LATEST ARTICLES

Students reopen fine-dining restaurant six months after closing its doors

GRCC’s The Heritage has reopened to the general public, with culinary students cooking, baking their way toward degrees...

Plotting for a plot

Students’ hand-drawn maps are meant for the safekeeping of memories and to spur ideas for when they write personal narratives...

Outdoor lover, zen seeker, middle-schooler hope-giver

Bill Cataldo is the new K-8 principal for Cedar Springs’ new Red Hawks Online virtual school this year. School News Network took some time to get to know him better in this edition of Meet Your Principal...

The year of learning differently

SNN asked a sampling of students from across the county how it’s going for them so far in a school year of multiple instruction models...

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles

New VP says ‘It feels like joining a family’

Aaron Romoslawski is the new vice principal of Sparta High School. He takes over for Stacey Rumsey, who was named Sparta High School principal last spring...

Open spaces key to new middle school

The new building is designed for collaborative learning but its unique open spaces can be utilized for increased social distancing demands during the pandemic...

Here come the students; schools try to be ‘prepared for everything’

Area school districts have to be able to switch instruction plans if the pandemic fires up again, and be prepared for the possibility of a COVID-19 outbreak in one of their schools...
- 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