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Mobile agriculture classroom to visit area schools

POSTED June 21, 2011 9:44 p.m.

 Ag In Motion, a 53-foot state-of-the-art mobile trailer classroom, is scheduled for its public unveiling today at The National Ag Science Center in Modesto.

The trailer will feature 20 laboratories complete with microscopes, lesson plans and the latest technology to deliver a free unique agricultural/ science based educational experience to area seventh graders. The lab can hold up to 36 students and a teacher.

In Turlock, Dutcher Middle School has signed up for a visit from Ag In Motion this fall.

 The National Ag Science Center Board of Directors decided about a year ago to create a mobile classroom to tour middle schools and provide students with an educational experience designed to excite their minds and encourage future careers in agriculture. 

Ag In Motion and its educational offerings will be provided free of charge to all middle schools in the Central Valley. Lesson plans will be taught each visit which meet California’s educational standards.  They were developed and tested by area teachers who volunteered their time and expertise. Lessons will fit a normal class period.

In the past year the project has raised nearly $238,000 of the $250,000 price tag for the trailer. The majority of the money has come from private and corporate donations. Some of the largest came from Wal-Mart and Rabobank, which together donated nearly $97,000 for the trailer. 

“Ag In Motion is a remarkable offering for schools and students throughout the Central Valley, particularly in this tough economy,” said Wal-Mart Senior Vice President of the Pacific Division, Kimberly Sentovich.  “This project is very deserving of this grant as we all benefit from the determination and commitment of the National Ag Science Center to make Ag in Motion a reality.”

“We greatly appreciate the Wal-Mart Foundation’s support of Ag In Motion and their generous grant which will help keep it on the road full-time and enable us to reach as many students as possible,” said Michele Laverty, director of the National Ag Science Center. “From the beginning Wal-Mart understood the benefits our vision would provide to the community.”

 For more information, visit the National Ag Science Center website at:    http://agsciencecenter.org/

To contact Jonathan McCorkell, e-mail jmccorkell@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2015.

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