This week, the Georgia Ag Experience mobile classroom visited Dawson County, teaching school system students about the importance of agriculture in Georgia and the potential jobs offered by the agricultural sector.
According to Virginia Fulwood, a state educator with the Georgia Foundation for Agriculture, the Georgia Ag Experience is a program organized by the Georgia Foundation for Agriculture, a nonprofit organization founded by the Farm Bureau. The Georgia Ag Experience mobile classroom travels across Georgia, teaching agriculture to public and private school students across the state.
“The children of Dawson County (this week) are learning that Georgia’s number one activity is agriculture. The state of Georgia makes more money in agriculture than anything else, which means for the children that when they grow up there will be more jobs in agriculture, ”Fulwood said. “But if they have no education about it, they won’t have the opportunity to tap into field number one.”
The target age for the Georgia Ag Experience is third, fourth, and fifth grade, but each school system chooses its own schedule when the mobile classroom is in its district, he said. The Dawson County school system chose to have all third-graders in the district visit the trailer, so Wednesday through Friday several third-graders bicycled in and out of the Professional Development Center parking lot, where it had been. set up the mobile classroom.
Each group of students participating in the Georgia Ag Experience first attended a 25-minute preliminary class teaching them agriculture using a state standard curriculum. They then played an agricultural-themed game to decide which half of the group would go to the mobile classroom first, and took turns experimenting with the activities in the mobile classroom.
The Mobile Classroom is a STEM trailer aimed at teaching and engaging students with practical and fun ways of learning, Fulwood said.
“The whole trailer is a STEM trailer, so we combine science, technology, engineering and math with agriculture and engage children with hands-on activities to teach them agriculture and also to introduce how much technology plays a role in agriculture now. “, Fulwood said. “Many people don’t realize how many careers there are in agriculture; when they think of agriculture they see a boy standing in a field with a pitchfork and they don’t realize that there is research, there is software engineering, technological development, mechanics, and so we like to take targets each of the best products in Georgia. ”
The trailer consists of several stations that talk about different aspects of Georgia specific to agriculture, including horticulture, fruit and vegetables, poultry, peanuts, forestry, beef and dairy, and cotton, as well as a career station describing some potential careers in the field. As they walked through the trailer, the students participated in different activities and games to learn about each of these topics in a fun way.
“They have so much fun; it amazes me how usually I don’t even have to give them instructions, they just go up and automatically know what to do with the computer, “Fulwood said.” They are learning agriculture and they don’t even realize how much they are absorbing. ”
In addition to the Georgia Ag Experience, the Georgia Foundation for Agriculture offers online versions of many of the games in the trailer, as well as resources for teachers to use in their classrooms.
“We have some online versions of these games on that website for teachers and children to play, we also have some resources for teachers so they can teach agriculture in their classroom throughout the year,” Fulwood said. “It is difficult to know that something is available if you are not even aware of it; how can you tell a kid he can work in agriculture if he doesn’t know what agriculture is – and kids love it, they ask the funniest questions.
To find out more about the Georgia Ag Experience, go to https://www.georgiaagexperience.org/