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National Ag Science Center
Ag Bytes
News from the National Ag Science Center
Volume 8, Issue 3

On the Road Again!

Welcome Fall. The nuts are shaking and the orchard floors are being swept as a new harvest hits the hullers.  Ag In Motion has begun a new fall tradition of adding eighth grade lessons to the menu for schools. Our plan this year is to have 14,000 students cross the mobile lab threshold and we are well on our way.  


What fun it was to be in the lab and see the excitement on the faces of the eighth graders as they entered the lab for the second year.  So far the density lab has been the most popular (and most messy) lab we have completed.  In this lab the students explore the density of four different types of  liquids. 


Predictions are made, testing is completed and results are recorded.  Of course there is time at the end to explore how an understanding of the density of a liquid is used in many agricultural applications from irrigation to fertilization.

Later in the school year we will be exploring the chemistry of milk, soil and photosynthesis. 

One thing that we have already learned is that these new labs consume resources! We have been busy purchasing large quantities of oil, syrup and ethanol.  Volumes of dish soap have also been procured to clean up the sticky, oily mess after the fun is over. So if you are inclined, a donation to help with lab supplies this year will be greatly appreciated as our grocery bill is climbing!


Another innovation in the lab this school year is our new clicker evaluation system.  When the students enter the lab they are given the opportunity to test their knowledge by answering a few questions using a remote control clicker. The students answer questions again at the end of the lab session and the data is collected and will be analyzed.  We hope that this data will help us to improve our instructional technique and gain a better understanding of what the students learn in the lab.

The level of excitement from both students and teachers is amazing.  School budget cuts have made "fun with science" a luxury. Thanks to AIM these students get to explore hands on science again this year.


Salida Middle School

Students from Salida Middle School celebrate density!

Dates to Remember

November 28th - Board Meeting at 7:30am
February 12th-14th - World Ag Expo


15th Annual Ag Hall of Fame Dinner to Honor VSI

Hall of Fame Dinner

This year the Ag Hall of Fame Dinner will honor one of our region’s premier animal health and nutrition distributorships, Veterinary Service Inc.  Over 52 years ago, Frank Sweeten, Dr. Willis Woodward, Dr. Donald Rosenberg and John Pugliese, formed the company with a focus on poultry which has expanded to become not only a full service supplier of animal health, nutrition and pet products but also an international import business as well. 

The dinner “Supplying the Future of Agriculture” will feature the induction of VSI into the Ag Hall of Fame, a silent and oral auction and opportunity to tour the Ag In Motion mobile classroom.  Oral auction items include:

·     A get-away to the beautiful Santa Cruz Coast.

·      Gourmet dinner for 8, prepared at your home by Hank Winkle, Executive Chef from O’Brien’s Market.

·      Fabulous wine pairing dinner for 8 prepared by Stan Diamond at your home.

On November 8, 2012, we hope you and your guests will join us in celebrating with the employees of VSI at our 15th annual dinner.  Invitations will be in the mail soon. Don’t miss out call the National Ag Science Center office at 209-521-2902 or visit our website to reserve your table today. 

Farm To Table Dinner a Tasty Success

Farm To Table Guests

On June 14 we were joined by 190 food lovers to taste the bounty of our valley at the first annual Farm to Table Dinner.  At this dinner the food and wine were the stars as guests dined on the freshest cuisine prepared by Chef Ian from Greens Market.  Each course was highlighted by a brief introduction from the farmer or vintner who provided the delicacy.  Seated at long tables on the grounds of Four Seasons Farms, guests were invited to meet the farmers and learn how the food and wine was grown and produced. Farm2From local vodka and Fiscalini Farms cheeses as appetizers to beautifully prepared squab and local specialty poultry paired with Lange Twins wine, guests were amazed with each course.  After a course of local beef and roasted Ratto Bros vegetables paired with wines from D’Art and Gallo Family Vineyards, guests were treated to a beautiful crème caramel prepared with organic Burroughs Farms eggs and fresh Ott Farms blueberries. 

Dinner Plate

Thanks again to our the amazing family farms who helped make the evening so amazing.  We look forward to Spring 2013 and our next Farm To Table adventure!

New Year New Lessons

8th Grade LessonsAnother school year, another adventure! This year the new adventure for Ag In Motion is exploring chemistry with 8th grade classes. In addition to the 7th grade life science labs we have begun to explore 8th grade physical     science. The new labs include:

  • The Chemistry of Milk
  • (Funded by the CA Milk Advisory Board)
  • Chemistry of Photosynthesis
  • Chemistry of Soil pH
  • Chemistry of Soil Nitrogen
  • Density and Buoyancy

Our wish list still includes a computer based Chemistry of Nutrition lab—we are just waiting for a partner to help with the programming...if you know anyone have them call!

8th Grade Hart Ransom Students

Above, 8th grade students at Hart Ransom School measure unknown liquids for a density lab.

Visit our website for more detailed information about our labs.

Ag Teachers Tour AIM

Left, High School teachers from around the county get a close look at AIM.

Help Keep Ag In Motion Rolling

14,000 students—that is our target this school year.  That equates to 40 schools and hundreds of lab sessions.  The diesel, paper, strawberries and ethanol needed to make this program work don’t grow on trees (ok maybe the paper does but not in printed form). We need your help to keep AIM rolling from class to class.


The beauty of having a mobile lab is we do not incur costs for rent and electricity for a dusty office—however there are ongoing costs to keeping our 53-foot mobile lab visiting new students each day.  A small donation can go a long way to keep hands-on science in the hands of students.


We need your help to keep Ag In Motion on the road (diesel is expensive!), serving schools (5,000 strawberries and counting) and introducing students to the science of agriculture and future careers.  Your help and support will keep this mobile classroom rolling!  Call our office today at 209-521-2902 or donate on-line at www.agsciencecenter.orgNo gift is too big or too small!      Donate today to keep the wonder of agricultural science alive in AIM.

The Many Ways to Help

  • Density Lab Monthly Groceries $500 gift 
  • Sponsor Lab Notebook Printing for $750
  • Fuel AIM's travels with a $1,000 gift
  • Support Curriculum Development $3,000
  • Sponsor a Lab Station for a year $5,000
  • Help Build a Second AIM $125,000
Make a Donation
Tel: (209) 521-2902
Fax: (209) 341-4609

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National Ag Science Center
PO Box 4937
Modesto, California 95352

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