Sunday, February 3, 2013

Fun With Food

One of the really cool things we have going on at work is our youth volunteer program. One hundred kids volunteer every summer. These aren't just your average tweens and teens. This is a tough program to get into, so they are the best of the best. The kind of kids that restore your faith in humanity and make you believe that maybe there is a future to be had after all. Out of these one hundred kids there is a select group that show leadership skills and an interest in agriculture. They belong to a group we call our Youth Ag Captains. We provide them with some additional training so that they can mentor the other youth volunteers. Saturday, we held one of those trainings.

The training topics are driven by what the kids are interested in. They decided they wanted to know more about animal health and the routine veterinary procedures we perform with the animals. So we put  together a pretty nifty Powerpoint presentation.  However we are known for being a hands-on learning organization so we knew we had to take it a step further to make it really interesting.

Our local veterinarian supplied a bottle of sterile water for us to use as a "vaccine."

Obviously, you can't just go around shooting up water in a real animal so we opted for bananas instead. The peel simulates skin pretty well, so the kids could practice both IM and SQ injections.

Demonstrating how to dock a tail was also part of the program. We decided not to let them band their own fingers.

Instead we had them castrate some baby socks with two grapes inside. 

The resemblance was uncanny.

This was a great program that the kids really enjoyed. 

Proof that you don't need a huge budget or a lot of expensive equipment to create a perfect learning environment. You just need to combine a desire to learn, a passion to teach and a dash of creativity.

Although I will admit I am looking for a grant to fund the replacement of Skinny our biology cow. After multiple surgeries she is ready to be put out to pasture.