MANDATA — The Pennsylvania Farm Bureau's Mobile Agricultural Education and Science Lab Unit will be free for the Line Mountain School District this year.
At Tuesday night's school board meeting via Zoom, Elementary Principal Jeanne Menko informed the board that the mobile ag lab will be at the elementary school in Trevorton during the first week in February. It will be at the middle school in May.
"Generally it's a $2,000 program where the mobile lab comes in and the children go into the lab to do the experiments," said Menko. "This year it's free because we've been using them."
This year, the supplies will be sent to the district and the certified agriculture teacher will lead the program virtually.
The mobile agriculture education science lab prior to COVID-19 is a 40-foot trailer that provides space for student partners to complete experiments with heating and air conditioning. Each of the mobile lab's 12 work stations. provides space for two to three students to complete hands-on experiments.
The science curriculum taught meets Pennsylvania Department of Education Science & Technology and Environment & Ecology Standards and is endorsed by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. The children perform hands-on science experiments, each teaching a lesson in agriculture, according to its website.
The experiments performed include equipment and supplies not readily available to classroom teachers and are of a nature that most teachers wouldn't want to tackle in a traditional classroom setting. Each science experiment is designed to emphasize a different aspect of agriculture, including Pennsylvania's primary commodities, the environment, biotechnology, food and fiber, among others. Children work cooperatively to solve a problem as they form a hypothesis, collect data and draw conclusions, according to its website.
The board members also approved a contract with Warrior Run School District to provide special education services during the 2021-22 school year at a cost of $230. Warrior Run has an autistic support program that the district has used in the past, said Amy Dunn Director of Special Education.