Vinton Elementary School students had a visit from Seed Survivor, a plant nutrient classroom on wheels, on Monday. The mobile classroom, sponsored by agricultural input developer Nutrien, introduced students to the basics of farming, agricultural science and conservation.
The mobile classroom included a RV bus filled with computer games, virtual reality experiences and video models teaching students the importance of the agricultural industry.
"Only three percent of the world is left for farming," Chris Reon, Seed Survivor volunteer and retired teacher, told students. "We have to take care of what we have. After all, they're our food provider."
Seed Survivor also featured indoor stations where students got hands-on application of farming practices. Each student was able to plant a seed to take home and care for, "fossil farm" for the natural resources that make up fertilizer, explore the different animals that live beneath the soil's surface and make visual correlations between plants and the final products found on grocery store shelves.
"It's really an eye-opener of what's really involved with eating. They (students) see where our food comes from," Reon said.
Seed Survivor recently finished its stops in Jeff Davis Parish and will continue this month in Calcasieu.
"They don't have to take a field trip because we go them and all the kids love it," Reon said.
He said children these days "don't get out and play in the dirt anymore.
"It's just a different world they're growing up in," he said "So, we're teaching them to respect the land we have because it's all we have."
Madison Goodfriend, a fifth-grade teacher at Vinton Elementary School, said Monday's visit was a positive connection to the class's life science unit.
"I think the students are more engaged because it's hands-on," she said. "Of course, we do hands-on things in our classroom but they (Seed Survivor) were able to provide things we can't. It gives them a little extra in their learning."
Fifth-grader Arlette Morales said Seed Survivor was certainly memorable as she dug up a megalodon tooth in the fossil farm.
Monday's lesson also included learning that some piano keys are made from cattle hooves, Morales shared.
"Hopefully we'll encourage them to be little growers and plant their own gardens," Reon said.