1. Education
  2. Youth Education Outreach

Programs

Tours and interactive programs that take place at the Noble Research Institute campus in Ardmore and surrounding farms.

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On-Campus Programs

Aquatic Organisms

Grades: 6-12; Time Needed: 30-45 minutes; Season: June 1 to Sept. 15
Learn about plants, invertebrates and fish living in Oklahoma ponds. The presentation usually involves collecting a seine sample from a Noble Research Institute Headquarters Farm or Pasture Demonstration Farm pond and discussing the organisms as we pick them out of the seine. Some participants in each group typically get wet and or muddy.

Campus Tour

Grades: 6-12; Time Needed: 20 minutes; Season: January through December
Explore the Noble Research Institute campus as you tour the buildings, observe laboratory scientists at work and take a trip through the underground tunnels.

Careers in Agriculture

Grades: 9-12; Time Needed: 45 minutes; Season: January through December
A career in agriculture includes more than being a veterinarian or a farmer. Did you know that engineering, chemistry and marketing are some of the other career possibilities available in agriculture? This panel will highlight the career paths of Noble Research Institute employees and discuss the variety of career opportunities in the field of agriculture.

Careers in Horticulture

Grades: 9-12; Time Needed: 30 minutes; Season: January through December
Let's talk about all the different job opportunities related specifically to horticulture: growing vegetables, fruits and other crops.

Chemistry's Rainbow

Grades: 6-8; Time Needed: 1 hour; Season: January through December
pH is a very important concept in chemistry. During this lesson, you will learn about pH and how it affects us and the world around us. You will use a universal indicator and concentrated acids and bases to create a rainbow of colored solutions. Before the solutions are discarded, you will have to figure out how to neutralize each solution.

Crisis in Agriculture

Grades: 6-12; Time Needed: 30 minutes; Season: January through December
We all know we are in an energy crisis, but did you know we are also in an agriculture crisis? Learn how you can make a difference in helping to feed our growing population.

CSI in a Wheat Field

Grades: 6-12; Time Needed: 1 hour; Season: January through December
Chemistry is everywhere, even in the soil beneath our feet. During this hands-on activity, you will learn about the importance of Earth's most valuable resource, soil, and its chemical properties. Assume the role of a crime scene investigator and use a soil test kit to look at the chemical properties of various soil samples to determine if fictional suspects were at the scene of a crime.

DNA Bracelet

Grades: 6; Time Needed: 1 hour; Season: January through December
DNA is the blueprint for life, and almost every living organism on Earth contains a unique sequence of nucleotide bases. During this lesson, you will learn about the basics of DNA sequences and base pairing by constructing a bracelet of DNA sequence from organisms including humans, chimpanzees, butterflies, carnivorous plants or flesh-eating bacteria.

Eastern Bluebirds

Grades: 6-12; Time Needed: 20-30 minutes; Season: April 1 to June 15
Learn about the ecology of the eastern bluebird and other small cavity nesting songbirds. Examine an active nest at Noble Research Institute Headquarters Farm or Pasture Demonstration Farm and learn about nest box management for these birds. *This program requires a two-week advance notice.

Fun with Fungi

Grades: 10-12; Time Needed: 1 hour; Season: January through December
Mycology is the branch of biology concerned with the study of fungi. Learn how scientist Carolyn Young, Ph.D., works with fungi to improve cool-season grasses used extensively for forage. In this hands-on laboratory experience, you will visualize fungal endophytes in the plant using a microscope, look at different fungal cultures, learn to pipette genetic materials into gels and see the DNA after it has been run. You will also hear about the different science career paths of those working in the laboratory.

Got a Bite? Fishing Clinic

Grades: 6-8; Time Needed: 2 hours; Season: April to September
Pond ecology is the study of living organisms in a pond habitat and their interaction with the pond environment. Learn about different species of fish in Oklahoma and the elements of an ecosystem they need to survive. Hear from our wildlife specialists and develop fundamental fishing skills.

Greenhouse Tour and Grasses

Grades: 9-12; Time Needed: 45 minutes; Season: January through December
Learn about greenhouse management and the forages the Noble Research Institute uses for research: alfalfa, clover, tall fescue and switchgrass. Work to answer: What grass is best suited to play sports on, which does a farmer prefer to grow, and which would cows prefer to eat?

Greenhouse Tour and Plantings

Grades: 6-8; Time Needed: 45 minutes; Season: January through December
Explore the largest single research greenhouse in the United States. Learn to use your number one planting tool, your "dibbler," to plant a seed, care for your plant and then take it home.

Hands on Horticulture

Grades: 6-8; Time Needed: 30 minutes; Season: Spring
Learn the science behind vegetative reproduction in plants using strawberries as an example. You will also learn how to plant and care for a potted strawberry plant that you can take home.

Hoop Houses

Grades: 9-12; Time Needed: 30 minutes; Season: January through December
High tunnel hoop houses can help you grow plants outside, at any time of year, without electricity. Learn how these structures are made and how some growers use them to produce plants year-round.

Leaf ID

Grades: 5-8; Time Needed: 1 hour; Season: January through December
Learn about how organisms are named and classified. Then learn about leaf anatomy and use a dichotomous key to identify unknown leaf samples.

Let's Talk About the Weather

Grades: 6-8; Time Needed: 1 hour; Season: January through December
The weather is an important part of the natural environment. It directly or indirectly affects many of our activities. But did you know it also affects food, clothing and shelter production? Learn about how weather affects agriculture, how temperature affects the volume of a liquid and how clouds form. You will then make your own thermometer and clouds in a bottle.

Measuring Relative Humidity and Dew Point

Grades: 7-12; Time Needed: 1 hour; Season: January through December
The concepts of relative humidity and dew point are both part of the field of psychrometry, or the study of the principles of moisture in the air. The issue of moisture in the air affects all of us on a daily basis in the form of weather. In this lesson, you will build and use sling psychrometers to calculate relative humidity and dew point. You will also learn to use a psychometric chart and compare data to local weather data.

Microscopes and Living Plant Cells

Grades: 9-12; Time Needed: 1 hour; Season: January through December
In this hands-on experience, learn about light microscopy and use spinning disk, scanning electron and laser dissection microscopes to actually witness mitosis in action.

Mineral Detective

Grades: 6-9; Time Needed: 1 hour; Season: January through December
Minerals are important to the functioning of our society. In this lesson, you will have the opportunity to learn about the characteristics geologist use to identify minerals. In this investigation, you will be given a scenario and must collect data to identify a single mineral.

Molecules Matter! Photosynthesis

Grades: 6-8; Time Needed: 1 hour; Season: January through December
Learn the basics of the periodic table of elements then build basic molecules involved in photosynthesis using spice drops and toothpicks. The best part: you get to eat your creations.

Nails for Breakfast

Grades: 6-8; Time Needed: 1 hour; Season: January through December
Chemistry is everywhere, even in the food we eat. In this lesson, learn about elements in the periodic table and specifically about how important iron (Fe) is to humans and plants. Then extract iron from cereals using powerful magnets.

Noble Research Institute History Presentation

Grades: 9-12; Time Needed: 30 minutes; Season: January through December
Learn about the founder of Noble Research Institute: Lloyd Noble. From his humble beginnings to an oilman and philanthropist, learn how Lloyd Noble's vision gave life to the Noble Research Institute, an organization dedicated to creating a legacy of stewardship.

Nuts for Pecans

Grades: 6-12; Time Needed: 30 minutes; Season: January through December
We are nuts for pecans at the Noble Research Institute. Learn about the importance of this Oklahoma crop, how pecans are grown and how beneficial they are to human health.

Oh, Deer!

Grades: 6-10; Time Needed: 30 minutes; Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
Many factors in the environment (such as weather conditions, disease, predators, pollution and habitat destruction) affect the ability of wildlife to survive over time. Habitat is the key to wildlife survival and population size. If anything in the habitat is lacking or restricted in availability then wildlife numbers are reduced. In this interactive game, learn that organism numbers are governed by the availability of habitat elements.

Oklahoma Snakes

Grades: 6-12; Time Needed: 40-55 minutes; Season: April 20 to May 20
Snakes are thought of as ugly, slimy and dangerous, but these characteristics do not apply to most snakes. Snakes also serve many useful purposes. Learn about the characteristics and species of snakes in Oklahoma. And learn how to identify and avoid the relatively few venomous species.

Picnic Basket Demonstration

Grades: 6-12; Time Needed: 30 minutes; Season: January through December
A typical all-American picnic is filled with fruit, sandwiches and homemade dessert. Did you know everything at your picnic, down to your blanket, wouldn't be possible without agriculture? This demonstration will help you identify the agricultural products required to make many of your picnic items.

Plant vs. Animal Cells

How do animal and plant cells differ? Learn about the general differences between the two types of cells, and then compare them using microscopes. View "mystery" slides and identify if they are plant or animal. Can you tell the difference?

Plant Walk

Grades: 6-12; Time Needed: 15 minutes to 1 hour; Season: January through December
Learn the differences among native grasses, forbs and woody plants. You'll also learn how important they are to the environment and how they are managed for use by livestock and wildlife.

Predator Prey

Grades: 6-8; Time Needed: 30 minutes; Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
Habitat is composed of space, shelter, food and water. Learn how important these elements are to the survival of all animals. Play an interactive game to demonstrate the relationship between predators and prey in the wild.

Ruminant Animals

Grades: 7-12; Time Needed: 30 minutes; Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
Ruminant animals like cattle are able to use land that cannot be used for other food production. Learn how the cow's symbiotic relationship with microbes in its stomach allows it to convert grass into muscle and eventually meat for humans. You will see how much grass a cow consumes in a day and what the microbes in the rumen look like under a microscope.

Soil Samples

Grades: 9-12; Time Needed: 30 minutes; Season: January through December
Before you plant and fertilize, be sure to take a soil sample. During this demonstration, learn how to collect a soil sample, submit it for testing and understand the results. Performing this simple task helps keep land productive and profitable. Underlying principles of basic math and fractions will make you think during this exercise.

Strawberry DNA Extraction

Grades: 6-8; Time Needed: 1 hour; Season: January through December
Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is the blueprint for life. In this hands-on activity, extract DNA from strawberries and learn about how DNA is used in scientific research to improve agriculture.

The Carbon Cycle

Grades: 6-12; Time Needed: 1 hour; Season: January through December
All living organisms are built of carbon compounds. Carbon is the fundamental building block of life and an important component of many chemical processes. In this lesson, learn about the importance of the carbon cycle and how it relates to life on Earth. Participate in hands-on experiments to answer questions about the chemical and physical properties of carbon dioxide.

The Crayon Rock Cycle

Grades: 6-8; Time Needed: 1 hour; Season: January through December
Weathering and erosion of rock is an important part of soil formation, one of Earth's most important geological processes. But, how are rocks formed? This lesson teaches about the rock cycle by using crayons to model the formation of each of the different types of rock: sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous.

The Science in a Lucky Four-Leaf Clover

Grades: 10-12; Time Needed: 1 hour; Season: January through December
Four-leaf clovers are a once-in-a-lifetime find right? Not with scientist Maria Monteros, Ph.D., who uses genomics and molecular markers to identify the trait that causes four leaves in clovers. Learn about legumes and how we can work to improve them.

The World as an Apple

Grades: 6-9; Time Needed: 15 minutes; Season: January through December
In this demonstration, visualize the world as an apple and become aware of the small fraction of the Earth's limited land resources that support all human life.

Water Resources

Grades: 5-8; Time Needed: 30 minutes; Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
Learn the importance of water conservation through activities that demonstrate daily personal water use. You'll also gain tips to reduce water consumption.

Water Quality Testing

Grades: 6-12; Time Needed: 1 hour; Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
Water quality is an important component of a well-managed habitat. Collect and analyze water samples while discussing the importance of maintaining water quality for conservation purposes.

Farm Programs

Beef Quality Assurance

Grades: 7-12; Time Needed: 30 minutes; Season: January through December
Learn cattle management techniques and principles that ensure production of wholesome, safe beef for consumers.

Cattle Handling Demonstration

Grades: 7-12; Time Needed: 30 minutes; Season: January through December
Learn how to move cattle in a low-stress manner that improves safety and welfare. Observe techniques demonstrated on live cattle.

Cattle Handling Facility

Grades: 10-12; Time Needed: 30 minutes; Season: January through December
Tour a well-designed cattle processing facility that uses modern technology to ensure safety, animal welfare and data quality.

Feral Hogs

Grades: 10-12; Time Needed: 30 minutes; Season: January through December
Learn about feral hogs, an invasive (and not a native) wildlife species, and methods of controlling them. You will learn that feral hogs compete with native wildlife for food, cover, water and space, all of which are components essential to the survival to native wildlife species. You'll also learn about their destructive nature to plants and soils.

GrowSafe

Grades: 10-12; Time Needed: 30 minutes; Season: January through December
In this demonstration, learn about high-tech, computerized equipment that measures animal feeding and watering behavior.

Pecan Orchard

Grades: 5-12; Time Needed: 1 hour; Season: November (Inquire in advance for exact pecan harvest dates as they may change from year to year)
We are nuts for pecans at the Noble Research Institute. Visit a pecan orchard to witness a pecan harvest and learn about the importance of this Oklahoma crop, how pecans are grown and how beneficial they are to human health.

Range Sampling

Grades: 10-12; Time Needed: 30 minutes; Season: January through December
Learn about forage production and management in native plant communities. Learn how much forage a cow consumes on daily, monthly and annual basis, and how to measure the amount of forage available for cows on a ranch.

Schofield Peach Farm

Grades: 6-12; Time Needed: 1 hour; Season: May and June
See a Noble Research Institute cooperator in action as Judith Schofield lives out her dream of growing and selling peaches from her own backyard.