Mobile Science Units Teach Kentucky Kids About Agriculture

Reported by: Tom Kenny
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Updated: 8/16/2013 7:57 pm

Kentucky students will use an array of high-tech instruments to learn about agriculture when the Kentucky Department of Agriculture's two new Mobile Science Activity Centers (MSAC) hit the roads this fall.

Agriculture Commissioner James Comer officially launched the new units in a ceremony Thursday during the Kentucky State Fair at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville.

“Most school children are two, three, or more generations removed from the farm,” Commissioner Comer said. “The Mobile Science Activity Centers enable kids to learn about agriculture’s importance in our everyday lives. These new units will use the latest technology to capture the students’ attention and help them learn.”

The MSACs travel to schools throughout the commonwealth to give students the opportunity to conduct scientific experiments related to agriculture using current educational standards and core content.

The new MSACs are 44-foot trailers that each contain 11 iPads, a 70-inch LED monitor, and an all-in-one touchscreen desktop computer. Students will interact with the teacher using the iPads through Insight360 software.

The mobile units contain internal generators; heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, and handicapped-accessible ramps.

The mobile units are administered by the Division of Agriculture Education and Outreach in the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s Office of Marketing.

The new MSACs were purchased and outfitted with support from Kentucky Agriculture and Environment in the Classroom Inc.’s member partners: the AgriBusiness Association of Kentucky, Farm Credit Mid-America, the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund, the Kentucky Beef Council, the Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association, the Kentucky Corn Growers Association, the Kentucky Dairy Development Council, the Kentucky Equine Education Project, Kentucky Farm Bureau, the Kentucky Goat Producers Association, the Kentucky Horse Council, the Kentucky Pork Producers Association, the Kentucky Poultry Federation, the Kentucky Retail Federation, the Kentucky Sheep and Wool Producers Association, the Kentucky Small Grain Growers’ Association, the Kentucky Soybean Board, and the Kentucky Veterinary Medical Association.

“This is a great example of a successful public-private sector partnership,” Commissioner Comer said. “With the help of our private partners, we will teach Kentucky’s kids why agriculture matters to all of us.”

The MSACs are booked for the next three school years. School administrators and teachers who want to find out more about the mobile units may contact Elizabeth McNulty at (502) 564-4983 or elizabeth.mcnulty@ky.gov.

 

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