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Indiana Debuts Augmented Reality App for Agriculture Lessons

The Indiana State Department of Agriculture collaborated with the Indiana State Fairgrounds on an educational mobile app that uses augmented reality to teach kids about crops, dairy and forest management.

by Sue Loughlin, The Tribune-Star, Terre Haute, Ind. / March 23, 2021
Shutterstock/ymgerman

(TNS) — In celebration of National Ag Day, the Indiana State Fairgrounds and Event Center and the Indiana State Department of Agriculture have teamed up to launch a new augmented reality education opportunity for students of all ages but with a focus on grades eight, nine and 10.

"The ability for students to learn about our diverse agricultural systems through a cutting-edge experience like augmented reality is outstanding," Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch stated in a news release. "The hard work put into these education modules from the State Fairgrounds staff will help capture our children's minds while also serving as a good representation of our agriculture industries in Indiana."

Augmented reality is the term used to describe an enhanced view of real life by overlaying computer-generated content.

Launching on Tuesday, the augmented reality curriculum is intended to immerse and excite Hoosier students about the practices, products and careers in three distinct Indiana agricultural sectors. Students will utilize their mobile device or school tablet to download an app and activate the experience, which operates by scanning a QR code:

  • Indiana Crops Experience — An augmented reality exercise where students will operate a combine to harvest a field of corn, learning various facts about crop production along their journey.
  • Indiana Dairy Experience — An exercise in which students will have the opportunity to visit a virtual dairy farm, learning about four different areas of the farm used in milk production and cow comfort.
  • Indiana Hardwoods Experience — Students will navigate a logger around a virtual forest. They will help manage the forest by harvesting four varieties of hardwood trees (ash, hickory, maple and oak) while learning about products made from each type of hardwood.

"These apps help to deliver ag education to students in a unique and engaging way," said Cindy Hoye, executive director, Indiana State Fair Commission. "We also plan to offer these augmented reality experiences to our guests at the 2021 Indiana State Fair, so that's exciting as well."

As an introduction to the augmented reality experience, each of the three apps includes an animated video overview of the industry followed by a narrated quiz for students to complete for comprehension retention. The modules tie directly back into career options, and students are provided a variety of resources to learn more about careers in agriculture after completing the experiences.

On Tuesday, all of Indiana's agriculture teachers will directly receive an invite to register for the newly offered experiences. These apps can also be used by students outside the agricultural classroom and can be downloaded by non-agricultural teachers at https://bit.ly/3f2YpaX.

All three apps are available for download at no charge on both Apple and Android devices.

Funding for the development of the apps came from a grant from the Indiana State Department of Agriculture. Additional funding, expertise and time was provided by Beck's Hybrids for the Indiana Crops Experience. Time and expertise were also provided by the Indiana Hardwood Lumberman's Association and the American Dairy Association of Indiana to develop the Indiana Hardwoods Experience and the Indiana Dairy Experience.

(c)2021 The Tribune-Star (Terre Haute, Ind.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


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