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Safety for All

Noble Research Institute continues tradition of teaching home and farm safety to area students.

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Fifth-graders love egg drops. Scratch that. Everyone loves egg drops.

More than 170 students at the Noble Research Institute's seventh annual Ag Safety Day, along with dozens of teachers and volunteers, gathered on the grassy edge of a parking lot eagerly awaiting the event's grand finale.

The students spent the spring morning playing and laughing through a series of hands-on activities. All the games, however, had a serious purpose.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ranks agriculture among the most hazardous industries for adults and youth. More than 16,000 youth (ages 20 years and younger) are injured on the farm each year. The Progressive Agriculture Foundation created the ag safety day concept and more than 400 such events are held in North America each year. The Noble Research Institute's annual happening serves south-central Oklahoma.

During the morning, students rotated among a series of educational stations that corresponded with a critical safety topic. At one station students learned chemical safety through a relay race with protection equipment, while nearby they learned about the power of a tractor as it crushes a watermelon. Other stations included activities designed to teach electrical, lawn mower, water and weather safety.

Ag Safety Day's grand finale the egg toss tests the students' ability to design a container to protect their class's egg when thrown from a three-story height. As the students and teachers looked on, Ardmore firefighters maneuvered a bucket ladder into place and began dropping each class's container over the edge.

Raw eggs ensconced in bubble wrap and boxes rained down. Some landed with a thud. Some landed gracefully. But with each one, these students will never forget Ag Safety Day.

 Courtney Leeper Girgis, Writer