Kids step into traveling classroom, learn about planting

(Source: KAIT-TV)
(Source: KAIT-TV)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A group of kids stepped out of their school classroom and into one that "travels" on Wednesday.

The "Seed Survivor" traveling classroom came all the way from Calgary, Alberta, Canada to visit students at the Health and Wellness Environmental Studies Magnet School in Jonesboro.

The traveling classroom houses a number of interactive stations about agriculture.

The sponsor of the Kids Saving Earth Environmental Club at the school, Lisa Long, said it's an opportunity for students.

"It's the Seed Survivor Traveling Classroom," Long said. "It travels all over the United States and we were able to book it to be here at Health and Wellness Environmental Studies here on Green Week, which is pretty exciting. All of our third through fifth-grade classrooms have gotten to schedule a time to go through. And it really just goes along with our school. Because we grow gardens, we have greenhouses and the kids are familiar with planting. But this gives us a different aspect of doing it on a huge scale. It talks about planting crops and what it takes growing food. What all it takes for farmers to do that."

Long said the students were learning while having a lot of fun.

"The stations that are inside the trailer are very interactive," Long said. "They are technology. The kids can push buttons and turn dials and make the farming come alive to them. It shows the potassium, nitrogen and different things the soil has to have to be able to grow crops. And it shows what will happen if you don't add enough of it to the crops and what impact it will have. It even goes as far as on the very last game it shows how much money you're going to make on your crop after you have added all your ingredients. Your water, how much potassium. . .they choose what they think their crop needs."

11-year-old Jameshia Williams said she had a ball.

"It's fun," Williams said. "I like to make plants and the games up in there are fun. Then we can learn how to grow plants and stuff now."

Long said living in a farming community, something like this is needed.

"Our area is one of the top farming communities," Long said. "Not only in the state of Arkansas but in the United States. And it's very likely that some of their lives will be impacted by farming. Whether they will work on a farm or maybe have a farm of their own. This shows them what that is like on a large scale."

10-year-old Cornell Manning said he thought it was great.

"It was awesome," Manning said. "Seeing the cloud drop water like a tsunami, lightning, and stuff. It was just cool. I cleaned a field up. I played a game in there where I tried to read this thing and then see what the soil is and stuff. I learned about roots and water drops down into the ground and then roots suck it up."

Long said the Seed Survivor stations cover the whole process of growth, from beginning to end.

"I think it is excellent," Long said. "It goes from the first things you'll deal with like watershed and how it travels on land and into the ditches and rivers. Then goes to planting the seeds to growing the crops and then on to the manufacturers or farmers market and places that pack and sell it. It covers the whole process from small to large."

Long said she hopes students take away a curiosity for agriculture and a connection to what they learn in the classroom every day.

"I hope the children learn," Long said. "That what we are learning at Health and Wellness Environmental Studies connects with the real world. And how what we're growing on such a small scale here is what happens to feed the whole world."

Once finished going through the Seed Survivor students got to pot their own sunflower seeds to take home with them.

Jameshia said she plans to grow roses while Cornell said he plans to grow vegetables.

Around 400 children ages 9 to 11 got to go through the Seed Survivor.

For more information about the Seed Survivor Traveling Classroom, click here.

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