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Bowers School Farm: Everyday Agriculture

Bowers School Farm has organized a new extended-length field trip program titled Everyday Agriculture! Third grade students spent the day at the farm learning about lifecycles and growth, and investigating the question: "Is our farm still growing?" Qualitative and quantitative data was collected in a personalized Science Journal by each student.

First, students headed out to the garden and assessed if the soil was ready to be planted. They measured the soil temperature, moisture and pH levels.

Next, students learned about eggs and bird life cycles. Students investigated what makes an egg fresh and what is needed for an egg to hatch.

Each student studied a dried sunflower to determine if it was at the beginning or end of the plant life cycle. Then the heads were measured and seeds counted. Seeds were packaged for sale and planted to take back to school to study further.

Finally, in the lower barn section, students observed new lambs and decided if they are growing. Students used several different measurement methods for weighing the lambs. As a follow-up activity, data from subsequent field trip classes will be sent to all third grade students, to track and make further connections.

"This program has been very enthusiastically received," Alan Jaros, Bowers School Farm Education Manager says. Bowers School Farm is a proud partner of Michigan State University Extension. The latest research-based curriculum and experiential methodology inform the instructional design of our hands-on school and community programs.


Above: Observing the sunflower lifecycle, prior to collecting data about a sunflower head including mass, diameter, circumference and the number of seeds.


Above: Making observations in the garden. What is alive? What is not alive? Is the compost pile living?


Above: Taking measurements in our garden to find out if our garden is ready to be planted. We measured soil temperature, soil moisture and pH in four areas of our garden.


Above: Collecting data in the garden using our Science Journals.


Above: Making observations and taking measurements of our farm chicken eggs.


Above: Comparing a store-bought egg to a Bowers School Farm egg.


Above: Estimating the weight of a lamb. Are the lambs growing?

Good job 3rd graders!

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