Mobile agriculture classroom visits North Carolina schools

Date posted: April 1, 2011

Johnston County fifth-graders head into the Seed Survivor Mobile, where interactive exhibits teach lessons about plants.Photo by Marc HallJohnston County fifth-graders head into the Seed Survivor Mobile, where interactive exhibits teach lessons about plants.

Elementary school students in North Carolina recently have had the opportunity to explore multimedia and virtual reality games — and learn about plants.

It’s all part of a classroom-on-wheels educational program called Seed Survivor. The North Carolina FFA Foundation partnered with Agrium and Crop Production Services of Canada to bring the free, curriculum-based program that teaches children how to master the elements that plants need to grow. Multiple displays travel around North America year-round. The North Carolina school visits, scheduled between November 2010 and this April, were coordinated by FFA.

In early March, the Seed Survivor Mobile (a truck and trailer unit) arrived at Princeton Elementary School in Johnston County. There students attended a presentation outside the trailer of a guided plant nutrient lesson and then explored the various interactive learning stations inside the 32-foot, handicapped-accessible trailer, an exhibit designed for children in grades 2 through 6.

Photo by Marc Hall

Seed Survivor's various educational multimedia activities and displays are designed to teach students in grades 2 through 6.

Among the educational attractions are insect video scopes, a sunflower seed planting station, a watershed center and talking walls. Seed Survivor was designed to teach youngsters that plants need water, light, healthy soil and nutrients to survive. It also teaches them that plants are essential for human survival in that they produce food, income, oxygen and enjoyment.

Approximately 30 students can participate at one time in the trailer, which takes an hour to complete. Students leave with an understanding of what plants need to survive, plus a sunflower seed to plant at home and apply what they’ve learned.

Agrium of Calgary, Alberta, is a major retail supplier of agricultural products and services in North and South America and a leading global producer and marketer of agricultural nutrients and industrial products. Crop Production Services is a provider of agricultural inputs, such as farm products (fertilizer, seed and crop protection products) and agronomic services to farmers.

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