Community Report: ‘Thinking Like A Farmer’ Introduces Students To STEAM Fields

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This school year, Billings Farm in Woodstock is offering young home-schoolers and remote learners a course that challenges them to “Think Like A Farmer.”

Billings Farm is an operating Jersey dairy farm with a museum of Vermont’s rural past, and VPR spoke with interpretation and education coordinator Christine Scales about the four-week class.

The curriculum is set up to give 7- to 12-year-olds a prompt, like ‘design a way to water your plants,’ or ‘create an invention to feed certain animals on the farm,’ and then to have them problem-solve in ways that farmers have been doing for hundreds and even thousands of years.

“Farmers really have to be mechanics. They have to be engineers. They have to understand how weather works. They have to understand physics. ” — Christine Scales, Billings Farm

“Farmers really have to be mechanics. They have to be engineers,” Scales said. “They have to understand how weather works. They have to understand physics.”

 

She added that the students will be asked to create contraptions, perhaps using inspiration from the old tools and technologies on display in the Billings exhibit. She also said it’s an opportuniy to introduce kids to the STEAM fields: science, technology, engineering, art and math.

The farm offers classes for older learners, too, in its Billings Backyard series.  

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