Fifth graders in Richmond County got the chance for some hands-on science lessons this week during the Richmond County 4-H’s annual 4-H Science Adventures Field Day. Beginning Monday, students traveled out to Millstone 4-H Camp in Ellerbe to learn more about environmental studies with some of the area’s best experts.
Local agencies participated in the field day by providing information and demonstrations to students throughout the week.
Richmond County Beekeepers, Tom MacCallum, Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve, Richmond County Soil & Water Conservation, Sandhills Research Station, the North Carolina Wildlife Commission, McKinney Lake Fish Hatchery, North Carolina Forestry Service and the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service all brought a unique element to the field day this year.
“This has been done at least 17 years,” said Laura Grier, extension agent. “The fifth graders expect it … when they’re in fourth grade, they know that they’re going to get to participate the next year.”
The field day is sponsored by United Way of Richmond County and Richmond County Farm Bureau, and is available to all fifth graders in Richmond County public schools.
The day incorporates many elements of environmental science, which correlate with new standards implemented by Richmond County Schools.
Grier said she felt the field day was instrumental for students because it provided “experimental learning.”
“You can sit in a classroom and hear your teacher, but to actually get out in the environment and see, hear, smell and feel — that’s the benefit. 4-H is about hands-on learning and learning by doing.”
New to the program this year were several students from the Ninth Grade Academy, who spent two of the four days assisting volunteers in any way they could.
On Tuesday, students migrated to different stations at the 4-H club, including a lesson by Phillip Perkins of Richmond County Beekeepers.
“The state of North Carolina passed a law that if you sell honey from a stand, you have to have your name and address on it,” Perkins explained to students as he showed them the different content levels of honey and passed around a honeycomb.
He also answered questions students had about the process of gathering honey and preparing it for use.
Perkins, who has been a beekeeper for three years, said he really enjoyed his first year of teaching the students a little more about bees, adding that the hobby was more complicated than many people realized.
For more information about the program, contact the NC Cooperative Extension at 910-997-8255.
— Staff Writer Mallory Brown can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 18, or by email at email@example.com.