Friday, July 18, 2014

Agricultural Science for Kids

There is something about summer that makes even the most resolute city folks think about farms, growing fruits and vegetables, and rolling fields that seem to go on forever. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service has just the ticket for sparking kids' interest in matters of farming, noting on a website geared for children and their parents and teachers that "agriculture is more than just cows and pigs on the farm."

The Agricultural Research Service is the chief research arm of the U.S.D.A. and employs some 2,100 scientists at 100 locations nationwide, including a few outside the United States.

The site features a "cool careers" section which allows kids to explore the many kinds of scientists who work in the field of agriculture, from chemists and horticulturists to hydrologists and nematologists (scientists who study worms). There is a "for teachers" section with an extensive list of resources and classroom activities, educational puzzles and crosswords to print, and a separate section on science projects (including ideas for agricultural focused projects and how to set up a successful project). 

Teachers may want to use the site to help them plan for the coming year and parents may want to spark their children's interests in connecting with the science behind the bounty at their local farmers' market. It's chock-full of information and ideas and a great way to get kids involved in this important aspect of the world around them. 

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