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        Page 6                                                                                                 Electronic Edition:

                     Dells High Ag-Science Program thriving, Increasing Hands-on Learning

                                            Slack. “One is our facilities are better equipped   dents  in  the  program  are  expected  to  increase   classroom. A chicken coop and an area featuring
                                            to teach ag-science than they were at the previ-  this spring. The school’s vegetable garden will   the different rabbit species are in the facility as
                                            ous building. Second is the work that Nathaniel   produce  tomatoes,  sweet  and  indigenous  corn,   well.
                                            Nolden, our current instructor, has done.”  asparagus,  peppers,  cucumbers,  beans,  pump-  “Aquaculture is our most taken class in the
                                                Slack added that requests for enrollment in   kins, and other food items.  department because the students love interacting
                                            agricultural  science  courses  have  “gone  up  an   “Another big thing that has influenced the   with the aquaponics system,” said Nolden in his
                                            incredible amount”, creating the opportunity for   success  of  the  AgriScience  program  has  been   email.
                                            another instructor in the department. He said that   increased  learning  opportunities  for  the  stu-  Nolden  said  that  Dells  area  commu-
                                            adding the new teacher will allow for more spe-  dents,” said Nolden in an email. “WI Dells has   nity  members  involved  with  agriculture  have
                                            cialization in instruction.         some amazing components to the Ag program.”  offered  expertise  to  enhance  the  agricultural
                                                “It’s  another  example  of  the  high  school   “Getting as many students involved in proj-  science courses. He also said that faculty at the
                                            being really committed to project-based learning,   ects  has  helped  spread  awareness  of  what  we   school have been “incredibly supportive” of the
                                            where kids are doing with their hands, not just   have to offer,” said Nolden in his email.  program.
                                            from a lecture-based perspective,” said Slack.  Hoch  said  that  tomatoes  from  the  garden   “He’s  very  articulate,  both  on  the  plant
                                                School  principal  Allison  Hoch  described   are  sold  to  High  Rock  Cafe  on  Broadway  in   science side, as well as the animal science,” said
                                            the  agricultural  science  program  as  “outstand-  Wisconsin Dells and flower plants grown in the   Slack of Nolden.
                                            ing” and said that students will have increased   greenhouse  are  sold  at  a  May  fundraiser.  The   Hoch  and  Nolden  discussed  how  high
                                            opportunities for school credit — taking care of   Wisconsin  Dells  Rotary  Club  has  been  helpful   school students and elementary school students in
                                            the farm animals at the Brew Farm, a large barn   in  the  school’s  garden  programs,  according  to   the district are participating in Food For America
                                            and farm area on the far north end of the school’s   Nolden.           programs,  which  are  mentor-like  programs  in
                                            campus  that  Nolden  said  was  donated  by  the   The  school’s  greenhouse  features  hydro-  which the high school students in the agricultural
                                            Todd Nelson family.                 ponic  production  and  a  soil  growing  area.   science program teach the elementary school stu-
                                                “Students  are  responsible  for  the  daily   Surrounding  the  greenhouse  and  in  another   dents agriculture techniques depending on grade
                                            barn  chores,  and  we  will  add  student  interns   area of the WDHS campus is 1.5 total acres of   level. Students from kindergarten through fourth
                                            this summer for the animals and gardening daily   growing space, managed by students during the   grade are eligible for the programs.
            Agricultural science is an important learn-  work,” said Hoch. The program allows students   growing season (spring, summer, and fall).  “These programs have increased the aware-
        ing component in rural Wisconsin, and Wisconsin   to live on farms within district boundaries.  These  facilities  increase  opportunities  for   ness of students at the high school level because
        Dells  High  School  has  continued  to  grow  its   The new farm has created a business venture   hands-on  learning,  which  Nolden  said  is  more   they love these opportunities,” said Nolden in his
        program with a new instructor to meet demand.  for agricultural science students. Eggs produced   important  than  anything  else  he  can  offer.  He   email.
            A  large  greenhouse,  fish  tanks  for  tilapia,   in  the  program  are  sold  each  week  under  the   said that students learn the most when interact-  Recycling and composting are other tech-
        and on-site farm animals (such as chickens and   brand “Brew Farm Food.” Other animals raised   ing with what they are learning. Getting adjusted   niques  used  in  the  program.  Nolden  said  that
        harlequin and lionhead rabbits) are raised at the   onsite include ducks, goats, and pigs. The school   to  hands-on  learning  has  been  challenging  for   shredded  paper  is  converted  into  animal  beds
        school with the help of students in the program   raises roughly 80 animals, according to Nolden.  some agricultural science students, according to   and students and staff have began using coffee
        and instructor Nathaniel Nolden.        “We say we’re the best value in town for   Nolden, but he added that these activities keep   grounds for compost.
            Because  of  the  continued  interest  and   eggs right now,” said Slack, pointing out the high   students engaged and coming back.  Story  by  John  Gittings  for  the  Wisconsin
        expansion  of  the  program,  the  School  District   price of eggs at stores. “We’re typically selling   “Students often ask me how they are able to   State Journal. Reprinted with permission.
        of Wisconsin Dells approved adding a teaching   out with what the chickens are producing.”  take on these roles of responsibility because they
        position in agricultural science for the 2023-24   The school has brought in cattle for a day   are seeking these types of hands-on experiences
        school year.                        at a time from nearby farms. Slack said the dis-  and learning,” said Nolden in his email.
            “There  are  two  things  factored  into  our   trict will discuss adding cattle to its array of farm   Lettuce,  herbs,  and  tilapia  are  raised  via
        need for expanding this department,” said School   animals.             an  aquaponics  setup  year-round  in  an  animal
        District of Wisconsin Dells administrator Terry   Plants  and  vegetables  maintained  by  stu-  laboratory  adjacent  to  the  agricultural  science

        Introducing Second Graders to the Wonders of Ag and Food Sciences Continued from Page 1

            In the Culinary Lab the secondary students   the new labs opened at the DCE Senior High,   to  advance  their  culinary  skills.  Today,  more   the  school’s  Youth  Apprenticeship  initiative
        shared lessons about nutrition, food safety and   smaller mobile versions of hydroponic labs have   culinary  courses  are  available,  students  can   and construction program stopped by the Ag
        food prep while the elementary students frosted   cropped up at a number of the DCE elementary   tackle  more  challenging  recipes,  learn  from   Science Lab and visited with the elementary
        cookies  —  prepared  in  advance  by  the  culi-  schools  —  an  initiative  that  provides  a  con-  real-world chefs who visit the lab and acquire   students. While talking to one of the second
        nary  students  —  and  topped  them  with  fresh   tinuum of lessons along the same vein as that   skills and certifications that set them apart from   graders, she learned about his interest in con-
        fruit. “Teaching all students how to use locally   provided  at  the  secondary  level.  The  school’s   their peers. DCE students can earn a ServSafe   struction  and  asked  one  of  the  instructors  if
        sourced ingredients to provide for themselves   robust ag science curriculum includes forestry,   Certificate by completing the school’s nation-  she could show the young boy the woodwork-
        and for their families is one of our main goals,”   large  and  small  animal  sciences,  introduc-  ally  recognized  curriculum  created  by  the   ing lab — the very space that inspired her to
        notes  Miranda  Ritger,  Face  and  Consumer   tion to veterinary medicine, small engines and   National Restaurant Association. Just as impor-  become a Youth Apprentice in the field. And
        Education teacher. “Providing an emphasis on   power sports (two courses that allow students to   tantly,  they  can  acquire  important  life  skills   off  they  went  —  all  smiles.  ultimately,  by
        nutrient dense and healthy meals is one of the   learn about the basics of equipment repairs and   and learn how to cook health-minded meals in   providing  DCE  Senior  High  students  with
        ways we can make an impact on all students’   maintenance) and plant science courses. Many   a safe manner. Students also prepare cuisines   the  opportunity  to  mentor  others  and  apply
        lives while they are learning healthy habits that   students enrolled in these courses also partici-  from  around  the  globe,  which  broadens  their   their skill sets outside of the classroom they
        prepare them for their future.”     pate  in  FFA  and  lead  the  annual  fourth  grade   exposure  to  diverse  flavors,  ingredients,  cul-  not only play a role in inspiring young Ever-
            The interactive learning session is one of   field trips at a local dairy farm where they teach   tures and traditions. The students often prepare   greens but in providing important services to
        many hosted by the DCE Senior High and part of   the elementary students about where their food   meals  and  baked  goods  that  are  donated  to   the community.
        a larger initiative to provide students with oppor-  comes from and career opportunities available in   community organizations and frequently cater
        tunities to take what they learn in the classroom   the ag science field.  events hosted by the District.
        and share that knowledge with others, as well as   As  for  the  Culinary  Lab,  the  new  space   During the second graders’ visit a DCE
        apply those skills outside of the classroom. Since   has vastly expanded opportunities for students   senior who is an enthusiastic ambassador for
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