Power To Save: Agriculture Science Lab on Wheels

FACTORYVILLE, Pa. -- Students in a Wyoming County elementary school are doing hands-on experiments and learning all about how agriculture affects their lives thanks to a mobile science lab.

"I took a class through the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau and they had a class out at Penn State. One of those days, we were there we were introduced to this lab," said Karen Shaw, an elementary teacher at Lackawanna Trail.

It's a mobile agriculture education science lab.

"The farm bureau has six different labs that travel around the state. Each is assigned to a different area. The teacher travels to the lab when the lab is delivered by the hauler," Paula Brennan explained.

This week, one of those labs is at the Lackawanna Trail Elementary Center in Factoryville where all 600 students will have the chance to take part in a hands-on experiment.

"What's most important for us is for students to get hands-on experience. With children, I feel, of any age that is most important," Shaw said.

We were there when third graders did an experiment where they turned milk into glue.

"We don't get to do experiments like this in our own classroom," said third grader Madison Walker.

They didn't eat the glue, but they did learn about the scientific method and chemical reactions.

"You can learn a lot in the classroom, but you can learn a lot more by doing," Brennan said.

The mobile ag science lab is more than just the experiments taking place inside of the lab. It's the message that the kids take home with them.

"One of the biggest things for us, though, is for the children to understand farming, to understand where their food is coming from, to understand how important it is to keep local farms, to keep farming," Shaw said.

The mobile ag science lab is available to grades kindergarten through eight for one week at a time. All classes are taught by certified instructors.

It costs $2,500 to bring the lab to your school for a week but that cost can be offset by sponsorships.

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