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Changes in Farming      
Students will acquaint themselves with historical farm machinery terms as they learn
what changes occurred in farming methods and yields during the 19th and 20th
centuries. Challenge students to practice math skills as they ponder those changes.

Compelling Careers in Agriculture      
Ask most kids how many agricultural careers they can name, and they are likely to say,
“Farmer, rancher... um, I can’t think of anything else.” As a result, many young people
cannot see themselves in an agricultural career. This activity will introduce students to
compelling careers in the ag industry.

How Much Does That Tractor Really Cost?      
Buying a tractor is a lot like buying a car. In addition to the purchase price, make,
model, features, and fuel efficiency are factors to consider. But farmers must also
analyze the ownership and operating costs of equipment over time. Get students
thinking about farming expenses as they perform calculations to estimate tractor
ownership costs.

Inventors John Deere & Cyrus McCormick      
Students will learn how John Deere and Cyrus McCormick’s inventions changed
agriculture as they explore their lives and create a timeline of the events pertaining to
these two famous inventors.

Lubricant Viscosity & Machines      
Have you heard the phrase "well-oiled machine?" For machines to work effectively, they
must run smoothly with no glitches. Many machines, including cars, trucks, tractors, and
combines, require lubricants to prevent wear and tear. A lubricant's weight, or thickness,
tells us the viscosity when tested at a specific temperature. Students will utilize the
scientific method as they test the viscosity of household liquids at various temperatures.

Machine Logic Puzzle      
A logic puzzle is a problem that can be solved using deductive reasoning. A deduction
is a logical conclusion drawn from two or more true statements. One common type of
logic puzzle involves a tool known as an elimination grid. In this activity, students will
learn about machines then use an elimination grid to solve a puzzle.

Machine Safety Specialists      
Machines help people get work done more quickly and easily than working by hand. But
the very power that makes them useful can also make them dangerous. This lesson
discusses safety guidelines for machines used on the farm and beyond.

Mystery Tools      
When you see something you are unfamiliar with, what skills can be used to figure it
out? As students explore a variety of tools, they will hypothesize what it is, who may use
it, where and when it may be needed, and how it works.

Precision Agriculture      
When you think of a farmer, do you imagine a person sitting in a tractor watching the implement behind them while the tractor steers itself? Someone operating an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to gather crop data in the field? A person at a computer analyzing field maps to calculate fertilizer needs? Believe it or not, these scenarios are typical on many of today’s farms. This lesson delves into precision agriculture, which uses various technological tools to ensure crops receive exactly what they need for optimum health and productivity.

Simple & Complex Machines      
Students will identify simple and complex machines as they analyze a variety of
household, classroom, and farm items. Follow up the opening task by sending students
on a machine scavenger hunt in their classroom, school, or home.

Simple Machines, Complex Inventions      
Let students’ creativity shine while learning about simple and complex machines. In the
style of Rube Goldberg, students will make the simple task of shelling an ear of corn
overly complicated in cartoon style.

Timeline of Farm Machinery & Technology      
What inventions have been created to improve agriculture throughout the years? What
effect have they made? After reading a timeline, charts and graphs to gain information,
students will answer questions and create graphs.

Tinkering Outside the Box      
This set of “tinkering” lessons crosses all four academic disciplines as students use everyday
items to construct a machine that moves. As you use each of the four lessons, your students will
move a project from design development, to machine construction, prototype testing, creating
scale drawings, and applying for a patent. Students will use their “thinkers” as they “tinker!”

Tractor Power Poetry      
When students are directed to write a poem, do you see their eyes glazing over and
hear heavy sighs? This lesson will introduce or increase students’ poetry writing skills
while focusing on a farm machine they should all recognize. After exploring types and
uses of tractors via images and videos, students will write about tractor using simple,
poetic forms.

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