4/9/18 Brown Swiss Dairy Cow

A Brown Swiss dairy cow stands on Memorial Mall on Monday during the first day of Ag Week in 2018. She was accompanied by two Holstein calves, as well as Dairy Club members, who were giving out dairy products.

An augmented-reality agricultural education program for Hoosier students will launch tomorrow, sponsored by the Indiana State Fairgrounds and Event Center and the Indiana State Department of Agriculture. The program will be available to all students, but focuses on grades eight through 10, according to a press release from the ISDA.

“The ability for students to learn about our diverse agricultural systems through a cutting-edge experience like augmented reality is outstanding,” said Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch in the release.

Crouch said the work put into developing the education modules will help “capture our children’s minds,” and serve as a good representation of Indiana’s agricultural industries.

The program launches tomorrow, on National Agriculture Day, the release states. Students can use their mobile device or school tablet to download an app and and scan a QR code to start the experience.

The program includes three exercises covering three of Indiana’s agricultural sectors.

  • Indiana Crops Experience - An augmented reality exercise where students will operate a combine to harvest a field of corn, learning various facts about crop production along their journey.
  • Indiana Dairy Experience - An augmented reality exercise where students will have the opportunity to visit a virtual dairy farm, learning about four different areas of the farm used in milk production and cow comfort.
  • Indiana Hardwoods Experience - An augmented reality exercise where students will navigate a logger around a virtual forest. They will help manage the forest by harvesting four varieties of hardwood trees (ash, hickory, maple and oak) while learning about products made from each type of hardwood.

“These apps help to deliver ag education to students in a unique and engaging way,” said Cindy Hoye, executive director of the Indiana State Fair Commission in the release. “We also plan to offer these augmented reality experiences to our guests at the 2021 Indiana State Fair, so that’s exciting as well.”

Each of the three apps also includes an animated video overview of the industry followed by a narrated quiz for students to complete for comprehension retention, per the release.

The augmented reality experience in each module ties directly back into career options, and students are provided a variety of resources to learn more about careers in agriculture after completing the experiences.

All Indiana agriculture teachers receive a direct invite to register for the program tomorrow. These apps can also be used by students outside the agricultural classroom and can be downloaded on Apple and Android devices by non-agricultural teachers here.

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