2017-09-13 / Today's Top Stories

Mobile Ag. Ed. invades Troy Intermediate

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By Brianne Ostrander

Staff Writer

TROY — What do bees, beef and banana DNA have in common? Kids! All three elements in one form or another are combined in a 40-foot trailer and mixed with a healthy dose of classroom capers to become Pennsylvania Farm Bureau’s Mobile Agriculture Education Science Lab.

Troy Intermediate School has welcomed the lab back this week, an annual occurrence giving students a chance to dive into the science behind their agricultural surroundings and perform experiments to see just how the natural world works.

The Farm Bureau’s Mobile Ag Lab offers more than 30 programs for schools to choose from with lessons geared toward classrooms ranging from third to eighth grade. Program content spans over many agriculture related issues including resource conservation, nutrition, process and production, and food safety.

Troy will be hosting the mobile lab for an entire week, allowing each class of students to spend an hour learning from its hands-on experiments. This year, classrooms of Trojans will dive into content investigating the soy bean, taking a deeper look into the wild world of water, testing which products are best for washing hands, and scrutinizing the process of turning corn to plastic.

Lessons shared in the Mobile Ag Lab are often taught by retired science teachers who facilitate experiments using mostly everyday materials such as crayons, hand sanitizer, lip balm and milk.

The Mobile Ag Lab must be scheduled to make appearances at school districts a year in advance and costs $2,500 to function at a school for a week. This year, the lab was purchased for Troy students with the help of donations from the Pennsylvania Soybean Board, Troy Area School District Foundation and community supporters.

Mary Abreu, principal of Troy Intermediate School, stated that attending mobile lab sessions is an activity enjoyed by students.

“It provides a hands-on opportunity of learning about our natural resources and how they relate to real life,” she explained.

In introducing students to new agriculture knowledge, the Mobile Ag Lab makes a point to aid school districts in completing science standards set by the Department of Education. To do this, lab organizers attempt to incorporate state standards in environment, ecology, science, and technology through the activities developed to grab students’ attention and allow them to “get their hands dirty.”

Connect with Bri: (570) 265-2151 ext. 1627; bostrander@thedailyreview.com; Facebook @Brianne Ostrander Daily Review.

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