Anniversary Celebration in York
Mark O’Neill, Media Relations Director
510 S. 31st Street , Camp Hill, PA 17001 , (717) 761-2740 or E-mail
For Immediate Release: April 22, 2013
Pennsylvania Farm Bureau Celebrates
10th Anniversary of Mobile Agriculture Education
Science Lab Program
Pennsylvania Farm Bureau Administrative Secretary and PA Friends of Ag Foundation Executive Secretary Louis Sallie discussed the huge popularity of the Mobile Agriculture Education Science Lab program during a news conference at South Eastern Middle School West in Fawn Grove, York County.
|South Eastern Middle School West students Alex King (left) and Blake Hubert have fun turning corn into plastic during an experiment inside a Pennsylvania Farm Bureau/PA Friends of Ag Foundation Mobile Agriculture Education Science Lab, which was parked at the school in Fawn Grove, York County. The experiment was held prior to a news conference marking the 10th Anniversary of the Ag Lab program.
|South Eastern Middle School West science teacher Jeff Halterman (left) and Ag Lab teacher Ruth Smith give instructions to students inside a Pennsylvania Farm Bureau/PA Friends of Ag Foundation Mobile Agriculture Education Science Lab. The students took part in an experiment turning corn into plastic. Meanwhile, Halterman participated in a news conference to recognize the 10-year anniversary of the Ag Lab Program.
|South Eastern Middle School West student Andrea Wolf participates in a Pennsylvania Farm Bureau/PA Friends of Ag Foundation news conference to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Mobile Ag Ed Science Lab program.
(Fawn Grove) – Pennsylvania Farm Bureau (PFB) and the Pennsylvania Friends of Agriculture Foundation (PFAF) are celebrating the tenth year of its Mobile Agriculture Education Science Lab program at South Eastern Middle School West in York County.
“The Mobile Ag Ed Science Lab program has exceeded our high expectations, providing fun, hands-on learning about food, farming and other agriculture-related products to hundreds of thousands of students across the state. The popularity of the program has grown so quickly that we’ve expanded from one lab to six labs over the past decade, enabling us to reach students in every county of the Commonwealth,” said Louis Sallie, PFB Administrative Secretary and PFAF Executive Director.
The six mobile agriculture education science labs reached more than 98,000 students in the 2011-2012 school year and more than 556,000 students since the first Ag Lab rolled into school parking lots back in 2003.
South Eastern Middle School West praised the program, noting that the school has hosted an Ag Lab visit during eight of the ten years the program has been available. “The Ag Lab provides the students with an opportunity to learn how agricultural products affect their daily lives. Fun, hands-on activities stimulate students' thinking about agriculture in new ways. One lesson called "Corn to Plastic" demonstrates how corn starch can be used to make a plastic substitute,” said sixth grade science teacher Jeff Halterman. “Some lessons focus on environmental concerns. For example, students analyze water samples to determine the source of water pollution in a fictitious town. Most importantly the students enthusiastically embrace these lessons and come away with a new learning experience.”
The Mobile Agriculture Education Science Lab is a 40-foot trailer, containing 12 work stations. Each station provides space for two to three students to complete hands-on experiments. A teacher trained by PFAF typically conducts six, 50-minute classes each day during a weeklong visit at a school. The labs made 890 school visits during the first nine years of the program.
“Ag Lab lessons provide a fun environment for children to learn about agriculture and their enthusiasm is often relayed from the children to their parents. At a time when fewer children have any link to farming, our labs help children connect with agriculture. The lessons also assist school teachers in meeting Pennsylvania state standards for Science and Technology, as well as, Environment and Ecology,” concluded Sallie.
Pennsylvania Farm Bureau is the state’s largest farm organization with a volunteer membership of more than 55,000 farm and rural families, representing farms of every size and commodity across Pennsylvania.