ARDMORE, Okla. — Noble Research Institute's Noble Academy has been taking hands-on science and agriculture demonstrations into classrooms across southern Oklahoma for the past three years.
Now, the Noble Academy's Science Exploration Trunk program will provide some of these demonstrations to classrooms across the state.
"Educators are tasked with teaching the next generation within the confines of limited budgets and time," said Frank Hardin, Noble Academy educational outreach manager. "The Noble Research Institute is going to provide science teachers and agricultural educators with a new tool that will give students a chance to experience agricultural science while also directly correlating to the national STEM requirements."
The trunk program consists of a shippable container that comes complete with all the resources and materials to lead two hands-on activities: the Carbon Cycle and CSI in a Wheat Field. The activities integrate into and support existing science curriculum and are aligned with Oklahoma education standards. The Carbon Cycle lesson introduces students to the importance of carbon to life. The CSI in a Wheat Field lesson teaches students about the importance of soil health and soil testing. The activities are for middle school and high school students.
The trunk program is free for educators to use in their classrooms once they have attended a training workshop hosted by Noble Academy. The workshop provides teachers an opportunity to become familiar with and guidance for easy use and presentation of the activities. Educators can check a trunk out for one week then return the trunk when they are done. Trunk training workshops will be scheduled in three Oklahoma cities: Lawton, Oklahoma City and Tulsa. Information on these workshops will be available by the end of June.
The trunk-based lessons provide a basis for students and educators to better understand the development of scientific research. These activities are designed to pique student's interest in science and share the positive role of science and agriculture in society.
The Science Exploration Trunk program was developed and is managed by the Noble Research Institute's Noble Academy youth outreach education program. Financial support for the program is provided by Devon Energy Corporation, Oklahoma FFA Foundation and the Noble Research Institute. The program and its activities further support the development of student-led, science-based FFA agriscience fair projects.
"These trunks help provide another resource for our educators who are looking to engage their students in hands-on lessons, which is an essential part of learning," Hardin said. "Additionally, these lessons spark students' imaginations. Science isn't scary. It's all around us. These activities help students see the critical involvement of science in our everyday life."