Rolling to school to teach science, agriculture

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Wyoming Area 8th graders experience mobile lab

EXETER, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — It may not have seemed like the type of day to take class outside the classroom, but that’s what some students did Tuesday at one local school.

They actually stepped out of their school building and into a mobile classroom. Eyewitness News Reporter Mark Hiller shows us how the classroom on wheels helps drive home some serious lessons in science.

“We’re getting closer to the source,” said Kyle Sheridan.

The Wyoming Area Secondary Center 8th grader and his classmate Jeff Hivish teamed up to try and solve a scientific whodunnit. Using water samples and testing for acidity, they and their classmates paired off for a simulation exercise: find the source of well contamination.

“I told you to go upstream. Find that source. Go up,” said an instructor.

Students also went in: inside a 40-foot long laboratory on wheels called the PA Farm Bureau’s Mobile Ag Ed Science Lab. 8th grader Mikayla Cresho said, “It’s more involved and active.” When asked if it’s hands-on she said, “Yes, more hands-on.” 8th grader Lucas Cardona said it’s pretty fun and added, “You don’t have to sit there and like go over the book.”

That’s exactly why the mobile classroom showed up for the week. Wyoming Area Secondary Center Geoenvironmental Science Teacher Erica Robaczewski said, “They get this hands-on, wonderful experience in an agriculture lab with a certified professional teacher and their regular ed teachers as well.”

Kyle and Jeff proved to be a pair of science super sleuths pinpointing the well contamination to a trash site. Kyle said, “The acid stream started getting like more blue towards the top.” Jeff added, “It feels pretty good to finally get your conclusion after working for a few minutes.”

The mobile classroom represents more than just a hands-on opportunity for students. It will help them with a major written test they will take in the spring. They’ll be tested on environmental and ecology standards during the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment or PSSA for short. 8th grader Lucy Obrzut said, “We can learn more about it and understand it more so we will be more prepared for the PSSA’s.”

It’s a lesson on wheels that may very well stick. 8th grader Ryan Martin said, “It’s just really great being able to actually do the experiment and not just learning about it or hearing about it from someone else.”

Wyoming Area 8th graders will experience the mobile agriculture lab two more times this week. They will also take part in mobile lessons about biodegradability and integrated pest management.

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