For 15 years students from Ohio State's College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences have been introducing grade school children to college courses at Mick Zartman's Scarlet and Gray Ag Day. This year the students escorted nearly 400 fourth and fifth grade students from Franklin and Delaware Counties through studies ranging from the science of chocolate and chick embryology to agroforestry in Africa and flavor testing of popcorn.
"It is a great experience for these kids," said Terri Parish, fourth grade teacher at Genoa Christian Academy. "They grew up in the city and need to be exposed to these learning opportunities."
Parrish was especially impressed with a hands-on session conducted by Bob Horton, professor of science and education. Horton had students use pager motors and toothbrush heads to create miniature "bristle bots" to clean up a simulated toxic beach spill of contaminated rice.
"From this eco-bot to the dairy demo and the sheep shearing," this has been a wonderful day of learning for our students," Parish said.
Students also spent a 30-minute hands-on session called "Kids Feeding Kids." The hunger awareness activity asked students what role they would play in meeting the future demands of feeding the world as the world's population reaches 9 billion by 2050. It showed them the unequal distribution of resources around the world as they assembled backpacks full of a weekend's worth of meals for the West Ohio Food Bank's Backpack Program. The backpacks were delivered to students in Lima City Schools who are on free or reduced-cost lunches and breakfasts.000
"This is another outlet to discuss the issue of hunger and raise awareness for the West Ohio Food Bank and its mission to create a hunger-free west-central Ohio," said Gary Bright, CEO of the West Ohio Food Bank in Lima.
The organizers saluted Horton, Larry Lokai known as Buckeyeman and David Zartman professor emeritus in animal science for their work and participation in Scarlet and Gray Ag Day.
Here are some scenes from the festivities.