For the fifth straight year, the Pennsylvania Friends of Agriculture Foundation, a division of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, brought its Mobile Agriculture Education Science Lab to Elk Ridge School during the week of Jan. 27. 

The lab is designed to teach students about agriculture, Pennsylvania’s number one industry, in a fun and hands-on way. The lessons have been led each year by Deborah Ellis, a former Coatesville Area School District teacher, and are coordinated with each classroom teacher prior to the lab’s arrival. 

Each year, every first and second grade class at Elk Ridge visits the lab to perform science experiments focusing on farms, food and the environment. The lab comes equipped with all the necessary materials and supplies for lessons and craft activities involving plants, bees and other insects, which are consistent with the first and second grade science curricula. 

Elk Ridge School first grade teacher Laura James, with help from Oxford Area Board of School Directors member Howard Robinson and Principal Herbert Hayes, has coordinated this event since it first came to the school. Mrs. James discovered the Ag Lab several years ago while she attended “Ag in the Classroom,” a week-long agricultural graduate class at Penn State University.