This is the 2nd year for the virtual Ag+STEM Camp! Purdue Agriculture PK-12 Council is excited to offer this event in conjunction with Spring Fest. Drs. Hui-Hui Wang and Neil Knobloch co-teach a course called Teaching STEM Through Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.  Students in this course will be teaching virtual Ag+STEM Lessons the week of April 4-7, 2022 leading up to Spring Fest.

College students developed these virtual lessons as part of their course assignment and would appreciate feedback from K-12 students and families who participate in their lessons. Each lesson is 45 minutes in length. You can register for as many lessons as you wish by clicking on the link. A zoom link will be emailed to you after you register. Recordings will be available after the live lessons are taught. Although the lessons may require a few resources you should have in your home, the lessons are free.

April 4th

  • 5:00 p.m. EDT - Grow in the Dirt: Part 1
  • 6:00 p.m. EDT - Grow in the Dirt: Part 2
  • 7:00 p.m. EDT - The Ecosystem with a  Focus on Plant & Animal Interactions

April 5th

  • 6:00 p.m. EDT - Appealing Apple Packaging: Part 1
  • 7:00 p.m. EDT - Appealing Apple Packaging: Part 2

April 6th

  • 5:00 p.m. EDT - Taking Steps to Solve the Clean Water Crisis
  • 6:00 p.m. EDT - What are the Odds? Coin Tossing and Genetics

April 7th

  • 6:00 p.m. EDT - I've got Problems: An Introduction the Scientific Method
  • 7:00 p.m. EDT - Egg-celent Herpetology

You can watching a recording of the 2021 Ag+STEM lessons on the College of Agriculture playlist.

Purdue Spring Fest Ag+STEM Virtual Experience

Picture of a young kid having fun on a lab (caption Virtual AG + STEMP Camp)
SPRING FEST AT HOME - Grown in the Dirt: Part 1. Taught by Purdue Agriculture Graduate Student: Breejha Quezada.

Title of Lesson:

Grown in the Dirt: Part 1

Date:

Monday, April 4th, 2022. 5:00-5:45 p.m. EDT

Description of Lesson:

What makes up soil? The stuff you see on the playground might be fun to run on, but would it be good for growing food? In this lesson we will explore soil that we have near us, and how special the stuff we use for growing crops really is. This lesson is recommended for grade levels 3-9 but all are welcome to join.

Materials Needed:

  • 2 soil samples in small containers
  • White paper

Optional Materials:

  • sieve or strainer
  • magnifying glass

Student:

Breejha Quezada is a Ph.D. student in Engineering Education at Purdue University. She originates from California, where she studied Mechanical Engineering and tutored students of all ages in STEM!  She has a passion for getting students excited about learning inside and outside of the classroom. When not working, Breejha enjoys music and dancing!


Picture of a young kid having fun on a lab (caption Virtual AG + STEMP Camp)
SPRING FEST AT HOME - Grown in the Dirt: Part 2. 

Taught by Purdue Agriculture Graduate Student: Mavis Akom

Title of Lesson:

Grown in the Dirt: Part 2

Date:

Monday, April 4th, 2022. 6:00-6:45 p.m. EDT

Description of Lesson:

You have water, sunlight, and seeds, what is the last thing you need to start growing food or flowers? Soil! Soil, which you might think is just dirt, is actually so much more! It is critical to growing healthy plants, supporting microorganisms and getting us the food we need. Join us to learn about how water is important in the soil for plants and other living organisms in the soil. This lesson is recommended for grade levels 4 and up but all are welcome to join.

Materials Needed:

  • 2 soil samples
  • Paper towel
  • Water
  • 2 Paper cups
  • Seeds
  • Scale or measuring cup

Student:

Mavis Akom is from Ghana in West Africa and is a PhD student in Agricultural Sciences Education and Communication at Purdue University. Mavis has over thirteen years of experience in agricultural research. Over the years, she has worked with farmers to address soil fertility and diminishing crop yield issues by utilizing the environment in a sustainable manner. Mavis enjoys spending time with her family and listening to gospel music.


Image of a forest in the fall, picture taken from above. Caption: Virtual Ag + Stem Camp
SPRING FEST AT HOME - The Ecosystem with a Focus on Plant & Animal Interactions.

Taught by Purdue Agriculture Graduate Student: Elizabeth Ragland 

Title of Lesson:

The Ecosystem with a Focus on Plant & Animal Interactions

Date:

Monday, April 4th, 2022. 5:00-5:45 p.m. EDT

Description of Lesson:

Explaining how plants and animals interact in our ecosystem to form the world we know today! This lesson will cover how different animals interact with each other in terms of their relationships with one another, how their interworking within food webs, where does energy come from within our diet, how energy moves among animals, and how all of this comes together. This session will cover the Indiana State Standards regarding symbiosis and movement of matter. It will engage students through its use of a STEM design challenge where students will be asked to map out their own food web by applying their newfound understanding of natural science, symbiosis, movement of energy, and environment.  This lesson is recommended for grade levels 4-5 but all are welcome to join.

Materials Needed:

  • Printouts
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Markers
  • Ruler

Student:

Elizabeth Ragland is a first year graduate student in the Animal Science Department with a focus on education at Purdue University.


 

Image of a men tossing apples in an apple plantation (captions Virtual AG STEMP Camp))
SPRING FEST AT HOME - Appealing Apple Packaging: Part 1. 

Taught by Purdue Agriculture Graduate Student: Sarah Thies 

Title of Lesson:

Appealing Apple Packaging: Part 1

Date:

Monday, April 4th, 2022. 6:00-6:45 p.m. EDT

Description of Lesson:

Do you enjoy eating brown apples? Become a food scientist for the day and design and conduct your own experiment to prevent apples from going to waste! Discover why apples turn brown and how you can prevent the browning process to keep apples fresh and appealing Recommended to Grades 3-5 but all are welcome to join.

Materials Needed:

  • 1-2 apples
  • Knife or apple slicer
  • Cutting board
  • Bowls
  • Spoons
  • Water
  • Pencil
  • Colored pencils, crayons, or markers
  • Handout
  • 3 of the following:
    • vinegar
    • baking powder
    • salt
    • sugar
    • vegetable oil
    • lemon juice
    • lemon-lime soda
    • milk
    • honey

Student:

Sarah Thies, a Montana native with a background in agricultural education and family and consumer sciences, Sarah Thies is a master’s student in the department of Agricultural Science Education and Communication. Her interests are around learner-centered teaching approaches and relevancy. Sarah spends her free time crafting, reading, and exploring Indiana.


Image of a men tossing apples in an apple plantation (captions Virtual AG STEMP Camp))
SPRING FEST AT HOME - Appealing Apple Packaging: Part 2. 

Taught by Purdue Agriculture Graduate Student: Jenny Blacklburn

Title of Lesson:

Appealing Apple Packaging: Part 2

Date:

Monday, April 5th, 2022. 6:00-6:45 p.m. EDT

Description of Lesson:

Many of the foods we eat every day come in bags, boxes or other kinds of packaging, but who designed that packaging? And how did they know it would work to keep our food tasty and healthy? This lesson will build on the scientific discoveries made during Part 1. Learners will apply these concepts to develop their own packaging for sliced apples so that they stay fresh and appealing!  This lesson is recommended for grade levels 3-5.

Materials Needed:

  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Paper towel
  • Aluminum foil
  • Wax paper
  • Paper or plastic cup
  • Cling wrap
  • Cardboard
  • Tape
  • Glue
  • Apple
  • Knife or apple slicer
  • Cutting board
  • Lemon juice

Student:

Jenny Blacklburn is a Lafayette, Indiana native and graduate student in the school of Technology's STEM Education Leadership program. She worked as a manufacturing engineer for 4 years before returning to Purdue to pursue her passion for STEM education. Her instructional background lies in informal outreach programs including FIRST Lego League and local Robotics in Manufacturing camps. In her free time, she enjoys taking her dog on walks and exploring local coffee shops.


Picture of a young kid having fun on a lab (caption Virtual AG + STEMP Camp)
SPRING FEST AT HOME. Taking Steps to Solve the Clean Water Crisis.

Taught by Purdue Agriculture Graduate Student: Elizabeth Thiel. 

Title of Lesson:

Taking Steps to Solve the Clean Water Crisis

Date:

Monday, April 5th, 2022. 6:00-6:45 p.m. EDT

Description of Lesson:

Design challenges centered on identifying and solving real-world problems add relevance to the classroom by showing students science in their own world and guiding them to sense making of science concepts. This lesson will focus science instruction on the 21st century problem of access to clean water. Using children’s literature, Nya’s Long Walk, as a starting point this lesson will guide students through identifying the global challenge that not all people have easy access to clean water, figure out why and how it happens and brainstorm potential solutions for providing access to clean water. The session will engage students in an abbreviated STEM design challenge aligned with science and engineering practices (SEPs) as well as Indiana content standards. Participants will create blueprints for a solar cooker and explain how it can create clean water, justifying their response with scientific evidence and concepts.  This lesson is recommended for grade levels 1-4 but all are welcome to join.

Materials Needed:

  • Paper
  • Colored pencils
  • Thermometer
  • White paper
  • Black paper
  • Aluminum foil

Student:

Elizabeth Thiel is a first-year Ph.D. student in Curriculum and Instruction in  Science Education at Purdue University. She has 20 years of classroom teaching experience in various teaching locations spanning from 2nd - 8th grades and as far west as Hawaii or east to London, England.


Image of tube or pipette from wet lab (red background)
SPRING FEST AT HOME - What are the Odds? Coin Tossing and Genetics. 

Taught by Purdue Agriculture Graduate Student: Austin Jenkins

Title of Lesson:

What are the Odds? Coin Tossing and Genetics

Title of Lesson:

What are the Odds? Coin Tossing and Genetics

date:

Moday, April 4th, 2022, 5:00-5:45p.m. EDT

Description of Lesson:

Have you ever wondered why you have freckles, but your friends don’t? What are the odds that your siblings would have dimples if both your parents do? This simulation-based session will explore dominant and recessive traits and the idea of genotypes and phenotypes. Students will leave this session having constructed a new emoji using basic genetic principles and coin tossing. This session is recommended for students in grades 6-8.

Materials Needed:

  • Coin
  • Pen/pencil
  • Colored pencils or markers
  • Paper

Student:

Austin Jenkins, originally from Tennessee, Austin Jenkins relocated to Indianapolis where he worked as a high school and middle school science teacher. Currently, Austin is pursuing his Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction. His research interests are around diverse STEM curriculum development and student science identity development. When Austin is not working on research or in classes, he loves to explore nature trails around Lafayette or hike at Indiana state parks.


Image of pipette pouring liquid to a beaker
SPRING FEST AT HOME - I've got Problems: An Introduction to the Scientific Method. 

Taught by Purdue Agriculture Graduate Student: Mathew Smith

Title of Lesson:

I've got Problems: An Introduction to the Scientific Method

Date:

Moday, April 4th, 2022, 5:00-5:45p.m. EDT

Description of Lesson:

They will be challenged to define problem statements, identify steps in experimental design, and use evidence-based reasoning to make inferences. The students will ultimately have to design a study to test the effectiveness of various types of fertilizers, which will represent a real-world problem in urban agriculture. The scientific method or the stages of inquiry both present students and researchers a model for experimental and non-experimental research. It is essential that students understand the process of inquiry to better comprehend and apply content learned in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) courses. Better understanding of the scientific method will improve students' problem-solving abilities and use of evidence-based reasoning. Through introducing the scientific method, students will be exposed to basic experimental design, data collection, and logical reasoning.  This session is recommended for students in grades 3-5.

Materials Needed:

  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Printed note sheet

Student:

Mathew Smith is an experienced educator with a passion for agricultural education and STEM integration. He received his teaching credentials from the state of Tennessee and Colorado, and received his bachelor’s and master’s degree in agricultural science from Tennessee State University. He is currently attending Purdue University in hope of getting a PhD and aspires to be a university professor in the state of Tennessee in agricultural education concentrating in curricular design.


 

Image of tadpole in the water
SPRING FEST AT HOME - Egg-celent Herpetology. 

Taught by Purdue Agriculture Graduate Student: Aubree Pond

Title of Lesson:

Egg-celent Herpetology

Date:

Moday, April 4th, 2022, 5:00-5:45p.m. EDT

Description of Lesson:

Amphibians and reptiles are an important part of our environment. They are one of the first species to react to environmental changes, so it is a benefit to human health to study them. Their behavior, their population, and even their reaction to certain aspects of the environment itself. In this lesson, we will cover the basics that differentiate reptiles and amphibians, how they use their environment to their advantage, and explore how easily the environment can impact the different species. Through the use of the scientific method, students will be able to make connections between poor environmental quality and amphibian population and predict how pollutants affect amphibians and reptiles.

Materials Needed:

  • Two hardboiled eggs
  • Food coloring
  • White vinegar or water
  • Plastic knife
  • Handout

Student:

Aubree Pond is from central Indiana where she grew up backpacking and camping with her family. When she started college, she found her path in Natural Resource Education. As she works to complete her Bachelor’s in Science, she has been lucky enough to seek out teaching opportunities to help inspire students to engage with and appreciate natural resources and the environment. While outside of the classroom, Aubree enjoys reading, the occasional Netflix binge, and spending time with her beagle, Ranger.  Sciences with a focus on Meat Science at Purdue University. Yufei is passionate about extension activities where conversations about meat, steaks, grilling, etc. can be discussed.