Written by: Adrienne Vitullo
On October 10th and 11th, the Ag Center opened its doors to two local elementary schools interested in exposing students to the science behind grains. For a few hours each morning, UME Extension Educators, MARC, and members of Farm Bureau, devoted themselves to teaching nearly 200 students about grain science. Activities included:
Animals Enjoying Grains:
Dwayne Murphy, 4-H Educator, ran this station where students learned about the grains in different animal feeds, the ratio of grain to weight gain, and animal byproducts produced for human consumption. Students were also introduced to a goat during this station.
Corn Products and Uses:
Dave Martin, Agricultural Educator, helped students identify food products containing corn, the various uses of corn, and the role of corn in renewable resources, biodegradable products, and biofuels.
Bronwyn Mitchell, with MARC, engaged students in a MD farm product relay race! This was another interactive and fun way for students to identify grain products.
Anna Glenn, Horticulture Educator, explored different types of grains, how they are used in various products, and how they are part of a healthy diet. Students also participated in a Product Relay Race with the object being to be the first team with only grain products on their table.
Cooking with Grains:
Lauren Williams, FSNE Educator, dressed for the occasion with an “I Love pizza,” shirt. She instructed students on how to make an English Muffin pizza. Students were very excited for this station.
Grain Scavenger Hunt:
Adrienne Vitullo, AmeriCorps VISTA 4-H intern asked students to read nutrition labels and find the hidden grains. Students had to touch without tasting this time which was a little disappointing after the Cooking with Grains station.
Shauna Henley, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, was the referee in plastic noodle fights to demonstrate how a diet that includes grains can affect energy levels. Students definitely enjoyed this physical activity station.
Thanks to all who participated in this event. Youth left wonderful quotes sharing how much they learned throughout the day:
“I learned about corn and the parts of a corn.”
“[I learned] that humans and nature use whole grain. Whole grain is [better] for you than refined grain. You can cook with grain.”
“Whole grains have more vitamins.”
Growing with Grains was a great success in combining the efforts of the whole Extension office to promote healthy eating and a thorough understanding