Don’t look now but chances are good Michigan Farm Bureau’s Farm Science Lab may very well be back on the road this fall, bringing ag-informed STEM lessons to elementary schools across the state! Sidelined like everything else by the COVID pandemic, MFB’s twin mobile classrooms are getting masked up and vaccinated with new safety protocols in preparation for the 2021-22 school year.
“Our goal is to have one lab on the road this fall, then both reactivated in the spring of 2022,” said Michelle Blodgett, who manages the labs as a function of MFB’s greater Ag in the Classroom efforts. “Right now our phone lines are open and we’re booking reservations for the fall.”
New safety measures start with slashing the lab’s normal 30-student capacity, possibly to as few as 10 kiddos per session. All students will have to sanitize upon entering and exiting the trailers, which will be thoroughly wiped down and sanitized between sessions.
The overall frequency of lab visits is also expected to decrease well below its customary pace of five to eight schools per month.
The Farm Science Labs each represent the culmination of a tremendous grassroots efforts to develop the programming and fund the construction of the mobile classrooms that’ve been a jewel in MFB’s crown since the first lab hit the road four years ago.
Praise from teachers has complimented every aspect of the Farm Science Lab experience; their comments speak for themselves:
- What an awesome program. We need more of this available to our students.
- My students really enjoyed the lesson and really liked the small farm they got to take home with them.
- The educator was very professional and having a background in teaching was definitely a plus in managing our class.
- Great presentation. Impressive lab! Students were happy and proud to take home a plant. THANK YOU!
- It was a really neat and innovative way to bring a field trip to our school for less cost!
- My class really enjoyed this. They came back to the classroom talking about all of the parts and how they were important. They were excited to share what they learned with each other. My group was thirsty for more. Overall it was a great experience!
- Very well organized and I appreciated the video to show first. The teacher very effective in getting across concepts — very cheerful, very patient…
- Our students absolutely loved the true lab experience! They were engaged and talked about it for several days. The instructor was fun and energetic! Thank you for the wonderful lessons!
- Thank you so much for making this such a meaningful and fantastic opportunity for the students and teachers!
- I was really impressed with the knowledge and patience that the teacher had.
- Our instructor was super with my students! She kept their attention and had management skills to keep them on her. My students loved it!
Click here to learn more about the Farm Science Lab. School administrators can reserve the lab here.