Gippy Ag brings agriculture to students
Forty Gippsland primary school students have enjoyed an immersive learning experience thanks to the GippyAg program, managed by Food & Fibre Gippsland and CQ University Australia.
Grade 3 and 4 students at Saint Mary’s Primary School at Newborough tapped into two modules from the program that has been specifically designed to provide school children of all ages with a taste of the current and emerging technologies used in the agricultural industry.
GippyAg is headed by Dr Amy Cosby, a researcher and practitioner who is passionate about working with educators and industry professionals to develop innovative programs to increase the skills and knowledge of teachers and students in agri-tech.
“Sweet Science” and “Fit Bits for Cows”, two modules developed as part of the project, were a big hit with the eight and nine year olds.
“The interactive nature of the content certainly got young minds thinking about how technology can and is being used across many different aspects of farming and production in the region’s $7-billion food and fibre sector," Dr Cosby said.
The Fit Bits for Cows saw the children divided into groups, with four playing the role of cows and wearing the accelerometers, one taking on the actions of a wild dog chasing the herd, and the balance of the group were the farmers, watching the data stream from the “animal’s movements” onto iPads from the accelerometers.
Under Dr Cosby’s directions to the “cows” to be chewing grass, walking around, laying down, running in circles and sleeping, the “farmers” were able to see how the data changed for each of the different movements.
From this, the children were able to easily understand how this sort of technology would be helpful to a farmer to monitor cattle or sheep activity on large tracts of land and improve animal welfare.