On Friday, September 6th, HAREC launched the 2013 fall education season by piloting From Watersheds to Planter Beds, a water education program developed with the help of our summer intern, Lauren Martinez. The central theme of the program centers around four questions—why is water important? What impact does water have on the world? How is water significant to agriculture? How does Ventura County receive and use water? Eager beta testers from Briggs School located across the street from the Center arrived with plenty of enthusiasm. The 6th grade science students tested activities and games that focused on five key topics: water cycle, evapotranspiration, soils, watersheds, conservation. The activities were well received. Students completed evaluations rating each activity and described something they had learned. Some students offered suggestions on how to make the activities better. All students gave the program high marks for FUN!
microscope set up to explore the xylem and stomata
4H Classroom Outreach and Farm Field trips for grades K-3rd is well underway. Extenders are deployed weekly to classrooms throughout Ventura County. The most popular fall lesson ties language arts and science standards for Kindergarten and 1st graders. Based on a classic children’s book, Pumpkin, Pumpkin by Jeanne Titherington, students explore the life cycle of a pumpkin from seed to pie. One of the favorite activities is touching a real pumpkin vine brought into the classroom from the farm.
Literature based lesson links science and language arts
Handling a real pumpkin vine for the first time
School buses deliver 2nd and 3th graders excited to participate in the agricultural literacy field trip that repeats spring and fall. The farm is transformed with seasonal plantings. This year, raised beds teaming with pumpkins and other winter squash varieties provide an opportunity to explore cucurbits. Students (and adults) enjoy comparing and contrasting the flowers, leaves and learning about the nutritional value of this plant family.
Over 2200 youth from Ventura County schools will participate in 4H Classroom Outreach and Field Trip programs which run through the end of October. Small pumpkins to take home produce big smiles!
Harvesting farm fresh beets