One of the many things I learned while working with the NRCS is that rainfall is important to all farmers. Crop farmers need lots of rain to help their plants grow, but not too much and hog farmers do not want too much rain when their lagoon level is high. The importance of rain has helped me create a rain station at multiple schools in Greene County.
Students will use a rain gauge to collect how much rain has occurred weekly. This data will then be placed on a larger document for the whole school to read. From there the data will be used in word problems during math and for students in science class to compare the precipitation amounts to other ecosystems. All grades deal with place value and using the rainfall data from years past the students will be completing worksheets that involve the rainfall data.
Below is a picture of one of the worksheets the students will be completing that deals with place value.
My Internship with the NRCS
Working with the NRCS has changed the way I look at the surrounding farmland here in Greene County. Greene County is an extremely urban area full of farmland and before working with the NRCS I did not know how much work and effort went into producing an effective crop season. The NRCS does a lot of cost sharing projects with farmers to help them implement more conservation practices.
During my internship we have helped create a waterway that will help stop erosion on crop fields, created a waste plan for turkeys and hogs and collaborated with local farmers on practices that could help their farms. These plans have not only helped farmers save money, but they are conserving energy, which is the goal of all NRCS programs.
The most interesting aspect of my internship has been seeing all the work that goes into producing an effective farm. To many they will never see the math and science that goes into farming, but working with the NRCS has given me the insight of what goes into it. Being from a small town in upstate New York I have also never had the experience of going to a turkey, chicken or hog farm. Working with the NRCS I have been able to not only experience this, but work with these farmers on plans to implement conservation programs.
While creating my product I found it was difficult to focus on one specific topic. At the NRCS they have many different jobs that connect with what goes on in schools. Many of the jobs they do deal with the waste plans for animals (that includes tons of numbers), waterways for fields (dealing with ecosystems) and even what chemicals go on different rows of crops. The math and science behind all these jobs relate with the curriculum for our students and finding which one to connect it with was the most difficult.
A success on the other hand was how easy it was to get the data for my product. The NRCS collects the rainfall data for Snow Hill so that they can use that information on many of their jobs. This made it easy to get the data for my product. My product deals with place value and using this information made it easy for me to create part of my product. I also created a product that deals with fractions and using the information given to the NRCS from local farmers on their acres of land helped me make this product.
Overall working with the NRCS has helped me create products that will not only challenge the students of Greene County Schools, but will also help relate the curriculum to them.
By completing my internship with the NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service) they will be gaining a voice in the school system to help promote their organization. They will be able to come to school on multiple occasions, work with the students and do some outreach projects. During my internship I will also be able to provide a different perspective on many of the issues they face daily, help explain to them what we do in the school system and how it might be beneficial in their line of work and possibly teach them some leadership skills. Being from a county that is very technology rich I also might be able to teach them some skills that might help in their day-to-day jobs. Overall I believe it will be a positive experience for both of us.