In celebration of National Ag Day, the Indiana State Fairgrounds and Event Center and the Indiana State Department of Agriculture have teamed up to launch a new augmented reality education opportunity for students of all ages but with a focus on grades eight, nine and 10.
“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. “The hard work put into these education modules from the State Fairgrounds staff will help capture our children’s minds while also serving as a good representation of our agriculture industries in Indiana.”
Launching March 23, 2021, the augmented reality curriculum is intended to immerse and excite Hoosier students about the practices, products and careers in three distinct Indiana agricultural sectors. Students will utilize their mobile device or school tablet to download an app and activate the experience, which operates by scanning a QR code:
- 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, Indiana State Fair Commission. “We also plan to offer these augmented reality experiences to our guests at the 2021 Indiana State Fair, so that’s exciting as well.”
As an introduction to the augmented reality experience, each of the three apps includes an animated video overview of the industry followed by a narrated quiz for students to complete for comprehension retention. 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.
“These augmented reality learning opportunities are critical for students to see how agriculture products make their way into Hoosier homes,” said Bruce Kettler, Indiana State Department of Agriculture director. “We are looking forward to this curriculum increasing interest in the exciting possibilities of careers in Indiana agriculture.”
On March 23, 2021, all of Indiana’s agriculture teachers will directly receive an invite to register for the newly offered experiences. These apps can also be used by students outside the agricultural classroom and can be downloaded by non-agricultural teachers here. All three apps are available for download at no charge on both Apple and Android devices.
Funding for the development of the apps came from a grant from the Indiana State Department of Agriculture. Additional funding, expertise and time was provided by Beck’s Hybrids for the Indiana Crops Experience. Time and expertise were also provided by the Indiana Hardwood Lumberman’s Association and the American Dairy Association of Indiana to develop the Indiana Hardwoods Experience and the Indiana Dairy Experience.