CALS student prepares for future career
In 2017, the University of Idaho’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) decided to pilot test a program at the Moscow Farmer’s Market. The Summer of Science consisted of 13 weeks of activities targeted toward children in kindergarten through fifth grade, and was intended to immerse them in science, specifically agriculture.
Liz Bumstead, a junior from Pullman, Washington, was the CALS Summer of Science intern, responsible for planning the curriculum and organizing volunteers for each Saturday science lesson at the market, as well as creating supplemental materials such as take home activities for the students.
“It was a different topic every week, so we would highlight a different department or project and I would coordinate with faculty and staff and create curriculum that would be really representative of their department as well as interesting for kids,” Bumstead said. “The whole purpose was to get kids really excited and interested in science and to also open the community’s eyes to everything that CALS does because it is so much more than what people think.”
More than 500 children signed up for the program, Bumstead said. After registering, the kids received a passport and got a stamp for every lesson they participated in. Those who received five stamps were entered into a prize drawing at the end of the summer.
“My favorite curriculum to plan, as well as just to see in action, was the dairy science day where we brought in feed samples from the dairy and we showed the kids what goes into the total ration. We also had a dried out cow stomach and we explained how those different pieces of the feed fit into every single part of the stomach and how it makes energy, which then makes milk,” Bumstead said.
In addition, CALS hosted five weekend events on campus that went even deeper into the lesson taught at the market. For the dairy science lesson, a live cow from the U of I Dairy was brought to campus and milked, and the kids took part in a cheese tasting panel and learned how to make ice cream.
“It was really a 360-experience for them; they were able to see the feed products in the morning all the way to the bi-products of milk in the afternoon,” Bumstead said.
Bumstead is majoring in agricultural science, communication and leadership at U of I, and hopes to work with youths as an Extension educator.
She spent the previous summer interning in Coeur d’Alene with University of Idaho Extension Eat Smart Idaho and 4-H Food Smart Families programs. Bumstead was responsible for teaching classroom lessons where the curriculum was provided to her ahead of time. During her Summer of Science internship, she was able to see more of the development side.
“Within these two years, I have gotten to see what an Extension role could look like because it’s implementation, development, as well as the teaching aspect, so I really got to see a full circle,” Bumstead said.
Anna Pratt, graduate teaching assistant in CALS and member of the Summer of Science team, said that Bumstead embodied qualities of an intern that are hard to teach.
“She took ownership of the event, worked diligently to plan each weekend's programming, and built relationships with kids and parents who enrolled in the program. She was a great advocate of our college and its programs to the Moscow community,” Pratt said.
Looking forward, Bumstead hopes to see the Summer of Science program back in Moscow. She said one of their goals was to spread the program across the state of Idaho, and to make it available to more kids at other farmers market locations.
Story by Jean Parrella, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences