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Family programs noted at the Pasto Agriculture Museum

by on March 07, 2019 11:08 AM

PENNSYLVANIA FURNACE — The Pasto Agricultural Museum, three miles west of Pine Grove Mills, on Route 45, Gate K, is offering four consecutive weeks of family programming on Wednesday evenings (AgSci Action Labs) and Saturday mornings (AgSci Explorers) from March 20 through mid-April.

All events are free and open to the public. Registration is recommended. The programs are designed for young people and their guardians.

Penn State faculty and graduate students participate as speakers, sharing their work and the tools they use in the field and in the lab.

Each lab focuses on a specific topic through a series of stations that provide hands-on activities for active, family-friendly experiences and lifelong learning. Attendees can meet scientists and think like a researcher. It is the perfect chance to explore hands-on science topics from DNA to dragonflies, fish bones to giant vegetables.

Rita Graef, curator of the Pasto Agriculture Museum, said, “AgSci Action Labs on Wednesday evenings from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. are for elementary and middle school youth and their parents. The AgSci Explorers meet on Saturday mornings from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. In that one we explore science topics about food and the environment. This program is designed for those as young as three years, early readers and their grown-ups, but anyone can attend. The Center for the Book at Penn State is advising us as we feature award-winning children’s literature.”

Each participant receives a field notebook (while supplies last) to record their own observations. Students as well as parents will be able to look through microscopes, observe a specimen, engage in crafts and games—all designed to allow participants to “think like a researcher.”

Here is a look at the programming schedule:

* Wednesday evening, March 20: Meet an Ichthyologist — How can I see the fishy parts of science?

  • Saturday morning, March 23: Fish tales and tails — Hands on science
  • Wednesday evening, March 27: Meet a horticulturist — What is the dirt on giant radishes?
  • Saturday morning, March 30: Carrots, radishes, peaches — Folk tales about giant foods
  • Wednesday evening, April 3: Meet an anthropologist — What does DNA have to do with my food?
  • Saturday morning April 6: Magic beans — Planting the curious seed of a story
  • Wednesday evening, April 10: Meet an entomologist — Why does science need a map?
  • Saturday morning, April 13: Dragonflies — When our stories take wings.

“The series will conclude with a celebration ice cream social on April 14 at 1 p.m.,” said Graef. “’Hey! There’s Science in my Ice Cream!’ features faculty researchers in the Department of Animal Science and Veterinary Science presenting ice cream from cow to cone,” she continued.

The “Rite-In-The-Rain” notebooks that will be given to each family are meant as a means for the participants to capture their own notes and sketches to share at the ice cream social.

Those interested may register for as many labs as they like — from one to all of them. More information is available on the registration site.

Register at

The Pasto Museum exists to connect the history of agricultural science and technology to the present day with hand-on exhibits, programs and demonstrations.

Connie Cousins covers Centre County for the Gazette.
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