Fifth graders take part in an 'ag-citing' day of learning - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Fifth graders take part in an 'ag-citing' day of hands-on learning


"Ag Day" is a tradition that's known throughout the whole community, but Friday was particularly special for a group of more than 100 local elementary school students.

They got a chance for some hands on learning, in the classroom and outside. Josh Heitritter has grown up on a farm, but he's still taking in a lot on this agricultural field trip.

"It's always fun to learn new things and then see what people are researching around here in the college," said Heitritter.

Heitritter's class from Boyden-Hull Elementary toured the college as part of an educational day, dubbed "Ag-Citing."

"It's an opportunity for them to dive into a different type of science and to dive into a different level of learning, a different style of learning," said Christina Lloyd, an agriculture and natural resources intern for the Iowa State extension offices in Sioux, O'Brien, Lyon and Osceola counties.

Ag-Citing is part of a push for math and science across the state of Iowa. The day was dedicated to raising agricultural awareness and helping students learn about new opportunities in the fields and life sciences. Students got the chance to meet with farmers and plant their own seeds.

"You can either plant it in the ground or put it in a pot, but you need good soil for it," said Keegan Wielenga, a 5th grader at Boyden-Hull Elementary. "And I have some pots that I'm probably going to put it in."

Students also got out of the classroom to learn about soil erosion and green practices.

"And so, it's kind of neat to see a younger generation grow up with the same mentality that I was taught and also to teach others who haven't really heard this before," said Elise Maresh, a junior volunteer at Dordt.

Perhaps their greatest fun, though, was the chance to meet and greet with farm animals.

"Some of them were scared, others were curious, and they'd just walk right up to you, like hi," said Heitritter. "Whenever they ‘baaed,' a ton of them would join in and they'd all do it at the same time."

And for students, the chance to get out of the classroom and into the "great outdoors," was an opportunity they appreciate.

"In school, you're usually doing that stuff, you're working. But with this, you get to do more stuff and write more stuff," said Wielenga.

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