Sticky and sweet

David T. Wilson students experience state ag through unique cookie creations

The Meade County Messenger

By LARRY SEE JR.
Messenger Staff

January 23, 2008

Photos by Larry See Jr.
Adding premeasured butter to the "bagged" chocolate chip cookies is one of the many steps 4th-graders completed last week during a visit from the state Mobile Science Activity Center. The center is designed to engage students in hands-on activities.

Fourth-grade students in Mrs. Oakes’ classes at David T. Wilson Elementary might ask their parents for a sandwich bag to make chocolate chip cookies.

After all, they learned how to do it in school, thanks to the Mobile Science Activity Center facility, which made a stop at the school last week.

The center is sponsored by the Kentucky Agriculture and Environment in the Classroom Inc., a nonprofit organization administered by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture that promotes appreciation for agriculture and the environment as it relates to agricultural production.

All cookie ingredients were supplied for the students, who then assembled them into the bag and kneaded them as required. When the mixture, which resembled a solid and was liquified was completed, adults took over and baked the treats in the school ovens.

The lesson fit in perfectly with the science unit students were just finishing.

“We were learning about solids and liquids and stuff,” one said, adding it was what they were learning in the 42-foot-long trailer.

The students were asked to investigate the production, manufacturing and use of the selected products. Students are taught the nutritional importance of the foods and how to be safe when preparing food. All activities are molded from the requirements of Kentucky’s educational goals for students listed in the Core Content.

Students and their adult helpers line both sides of the 42-foot-long trailer in the parking lot of David T. Wilson Elementary. In addition to the "bagged" cookies, participants also made balls out of biodegradable corn plastic.

In the trailer, 10 workstations provided opportunities for students to conduct investigations about agriculture and the environment. During the two-day stop, students had an opportunity to make balls out of biodegradable corn plastic and cookies.

Western unit coordinator Johnny Parrish said the center is no stranger to Meade County, having made previous stops at Flaherty, Payneville and Muldraugh elementaries. He is responsible for the western part of the state from Monroe County to Paducah.

"We are booked solid," he said, adding next week is spent at Paducah area elementaries.

Participating schools are asked to pay a $100 daily fee, with visits restricted to three days. The fee includes the costs for all materials the students need, Parrish said.

If the school is new to the program, Parrish makes advance arrangements to discuss what the teachers want, he said. Bookings are being taken for the 2009-2010 academic year.

To schedule a visit, contact Parrish via e-mail at JDParrish1@msn.com or call him at (270) 339-4502 or (270) 286-8816.

This story, appearing in The Meade County Messenger, was provided to One Knox courtesy of The Meade County Messenger. Read more stories from The Meade County Messenger at www.meadecountymessenger.com.