AgLab, a new science-education website operated by USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, is now “open for business” to students and educators alike.
AgLab builds on the past successes of its predecessor, Sci4Kids, in educating students about the critical intersect of science and agriculture in their daily lives, such as wrinkle-free cotton, edible coatings that keep apple slices from turning brown, a low-glycemic sweetener, DEET insecticide, and a bounty of new varieties of fruits and vegetables.
Geared toward K-12 students with an interest in food and science, AgLab offers a variety of content to promote a greater understanding of how agricultural research is helping meet the food, fiber, feed and fuel needs of a growing world population while also safeguarding our environment and natural resources.
For example, students considering career fields in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) may be especially interested in AgLab’s “20 for 30” offering. It profiles young researchers on the rise at ARS — starting with Jaqueline Serrano, an entomologist who is with the agency’s Temperate Tree Fruit and Vegetable Research Unit in Wapato, Washington.
In need of science project ideas? AgLab has you covered with “Let’s Get to Work,” a page offering a series of instruction-based experiments, including on food fluorescence, vitamin C content and soil erosion.
Other features include:
- An interactive map showing what ARS research is underway at locations near you
- Mobile apps like “FoodData Central,” where you can learn about what ingredients are in the food you eat and nutritional info about them
- Learn and explore sections that help students discover the wonders of agricultural science
Produced by the ARS Office of Communications, AgLab operates with the recognition that today’s students are tomorrow’s farmers, scientists, policy makers, and consumers. With this latest iteration, the website reaffirms its commitment to making sure kids have access to information about agricultural research in a way that’s fun, timely, and significant.