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Hands on Learning: Alternate Energy and Pasture Rotation

Morrisonville CUSD #1
201 School Street
Morrisonville , IL 62546
Teacher: Amy Naughton
Grade Level: 7 th and 8 th

Introduction

It is important for students to be informed of important agricultural issues. By utilizing the Dudley Smith Farm, students will have the chance to do cross curriculum learning about issues that clearly affect their community. This project is meant to help agriculture and science students visualize and understand pasture rotation, as well as, understanding ways to keep agriculture sustainable. This is an excellent way to combine agriculture and science and allow students to put knowledge learned in the classroom to work in the field.

Objectives

There are four primary learning objectives. • Visualize and understand pasture rotation • Learn about warm and cool season grasses • Understand the relationship between sustainable ag and alternative farmland use • Understand possible uses of alternative energy resources in the U.S.

Activities

The students will travel to the Dudley Smith Farm to view and investigate the various projects being performed on alternative energy and pasture rotation. During the visit(s), the students will be able to see the different grasses and rotational setups being completed. Samples will be taken of the alternative energy sources and observations recorded about how they are raised. Labs and lessons will be developed through this to increase learning and allow for more "hands on" activity while visiting the site. Research will also be done by the students on an individual basis. Once completed, the students will inform local community members of their findings by presenting their information.

Methodology

As the students are allowed to explore the farm and carry out learning labs, they will be able to see the different types of grasses and understand the pasture rotation. Also, as they work with the alternate energy sources it will allow them to personally see the viability of producing the crop.

Participation

The activities will be completed in mid-fall and spring to allow the students to see the area in different stages. There will be 42 students discussing the alternative energy source topic. There will be 49 students learning about the warm and cool season grasses and pasture rotation. These students come from the ag science and earth science classes.