Kansas Corn is keeping the STEM education going this summer with its new Summer Scientist Program.
The program provides activities and lessons to Kansas summer schools around the state. It’s based on the Kansas Corn STEM book, “We Grow Corn! Raising Corn on a Kansas Family Farm.” Each Summer Scientist kit includes a “Does Corn Need Light?” lab, five copies of the “We Grow Corn” book and an activity guide, as well as pots, a bag of soil, a bag of corn seed and measuring spoons. (STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math.)
On May 18, the Kansas Corn staff packed and shipped 685 kits for the Kansas Department of Education’s Summer Program, as well as the additional requests made through the Kansas Corn STEM website. KSDE received 300 kits, and 385 kits were sent to teachers at 388 locations across the state. A total of 14,500 students will use the lab to learn about corn this summer.
In the lab, students will explore the role light plays in growing a healthy corn plant. The kit includes an instruction guide for the teacher leading the class activity. This lab lasts 14 to 28 days, during which the students watch the corn sprout and make observations as their plants grow.
Students learn about agriculture’s role in life
Students can follow along in the “We Grow Corn” book, created by Kansas Corn, and learn about the yearlong process of growing corn and the important role agriculture plays in all our lives. The activity guide in the kit helps the teacher expand learning opportunities with hands-on activities, farm video links and access to online challenges that further expand the lessons from the book.
Teachers who were not able to request a kit, but still want to use the lab this summer can find the lab online at wegrowcorn.com, and the experiments can be conducted with materials that can be easily found: pots, a bag of soil, a bag of corn seed and measuring spoons.
“The Kansas Corn education team works hard to continue to create new programs to help educators teach about agriculture,” says Sharon Thielen, Kansas Corn director of education. “We are excited to provide educators with resources for their summer programs and to partner with the Kansas Department of Education.”
Visit the Kansas Corn STEM website for more information.