Dig In!

Dig In! @ CSU Research Center

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EUREKA! has partnered with Colorado State University to create Dig In!, an outdoor based educational program for K-12 students. Dig In! is designed to allow students to learn hands-on educational programming regarding food production, plant sciences, agricultural ecosystems, healthy food and nutrition, and civic service around hunger in our community. Dig In! is located at CSU's Western Colorado Research Center in Orchard Mesa. Dig In! has its own classroom located on the farm and is used seasonally for summer camps, field trips and half day programs with the EUREKA! Environmental Institute.


Summer 2024 Dig In! Camps

These programs provide an experience for students to learn in the field alongside CSU scientists to focus on agricultural sciences. All programs at the CSU Research Station end with pick-up at 3 pm. For more information about all the summer camps EUREKA! offers, please visit our Summer 2024 Camps page. All registration is done through our Dashboard System. Instructions on how to create an account can be found here!

8-10 Year Old

  • June 3-7: Art in the Garden (CSU Research Center, 3PM Pick Up)
  • June 10-14: Engineering on the Farm (CSU Research Center, 3PM Pick Up)
  • June 17-21: Investigating Insects (CSU Research Center, 3PM Pick Up)
  • June 24-28: Careers in Agriculture (CSU Research Center, 3PM Pick Up)
  • July 8-12: Science of Homesteading (CSU Research Center, 3PM Pick Up)
  • July 15-19: Food Around the World (CSU Research Center, 3PM Pick Up)
  • July 29-Aug 2: Del Jardin a la Mesa (Español) (CSU Research Center, 3PM Pick Up)
  • Aug 5 & 6 (M & T): Food Science (CSU Research Center, 3PM Pick Up)

11-15 Year Old

  • July 22-26: Farm to Table (CSU Research Center, 3PM Pick Up)


School Dig In! Field Trips to CSU Research Center

EUREKA! & CSU instructors can meet you at the CSU Research Center to lead a field trip on the farm and in EUREKA!'s satellite classroom.

Location: 3170 B 1/2 Rd, Grand Junction, CO 81503

Prices:

  • District 51 Schools (Excludes Charter): Free
  • Non-District 51 groups: $9/Student

Maximum 60 students.

Schools are responsible for funding their bus transportation. Bus funds may also be available by contacting friendsofyouthandnature@gmail.com.


CSU Western Colorado Research Center at Orchard Mesa is a working 80 acre farm where researchers study tree fruits, wine grape production and ornamental horticulture. EUREKA! McConnell Science Museum has partnered with CSU to create Dig In!, an outdoor based educational program for K-12 students. Dig In! is designed to allow students to learn hands-on educational programming regarding food production, plant sciences, agricultural ecosystems, healthy food and nutrition, and civic service around hunger in our community. Dig In! has a permanent classroom located on the farm and uses CSU facilities when available/ seasons permit. These include: a teaching kitchen, classroom, service learning garden, vegetable production fields and orchards.

Accessibility

The service garden is accessible through a packed granite pathway. Reaching the interior path of the service garden requires short travel through a gravel parking lot. The farm classroom is accessible via bus to a paved pad and ramp. The teaching kitchen and adjoining classroom are accessible via paved sidewalks. Reaching orchards requires travel on even ground through deep gravel. Field trips can be tailored to class needs.

Field Trip Topics:

  • Plants and Pollinators - At the end of this lesson students will be able to identify different parts of plants we eat and how pollinators affect the food chain.
  • All About Seeds - At the end of this lesson students will be able to identify examples of edible seeds, seed dispersal and a few things seeds and humans have in common.
  • Building Complete Meals or Snacks - At the end of this lesson, students will be able to understand the basics of building a nutritionally complete meal or snack. Our hands-on classroom activity will encourage students to learn about the importance of eating well balanced meals.
  • Farm to Table - At the end of this lesson, students will be able to identify the steps our food takes to go from farm to table. Students will learn hands-on in the kitchen what kind of preparation goes into making food and some of the hard work our farmers do so that we can eat.
  • Seasonal Programming - chosen by EUREKA / CSU Staff. This is dictated by what is happening on the farm.

Dig In! Field Trip Request Form

Pre-Visit:

Please inform EUREKA! if any topics offered at the farm relate to your classes current school curriculum. If we can make connections to what students are learning, we want to know!

Let us know if you are NOT interested in using our teaching kitchen, as we plan for one activity to be cooking or preparing food when available. Some food allergies can be accommodated.

DURATION: 3.5 Hours

  • 10:00 AM- Arrive
  • 1:30 PM- Departure

In large groups (20+) we will split into two groups, switching activities after lunch. We can not accommodate groups larger than 50 students for 6th-12th grades and K-5th cannot exceed 60 students.

Safety:

If your group will be divided into sub-groups to accommodate a large group size, there must be at least 2 adults for each group of students. These teachers or chaperones are responsible for the behavior of the students in their group. We require these ratios for the safety and enjoyment of our student visitors and our staff.

Outdoor Education:

We will be outside for your visit - in sun, clouds, wind, and maybe even a little rain! Advise students to dress appropriately for the weather and wear suitable walking shoes. Students and staff are expected to wear closed toed shoes. Campers may encounter bees or wasps, please ensure allergy information is updated. Each student should have their own water bottle with their name on it. Please restrict number of belongings students bring to appropriate layer(s), sun protection, and lunches. It is difficult to accommodate large personal items such as backpacks or toys. Remember: This is a real-working farm which means there are areas of the farm that are strictly off limits. There are natural and man-made hazards on a working farm – sharp weeds, rough surfaces, mud, irrigation lines, tractors, etc.

Expectations for Teachers/Chaperones:

Teachers and chaperones are responsible for ensuring the group’s appropriate behavior throughout the entire visit. It is not the job of CSU or EUREKA! staff to manage the behavior of students. Groups with insufficient numbers of chaperones and/or demonstrating inappropriate behavior may be asked to leave. Please give the following directions to volunteer chaperones: the field trip is at 3170 B1/2 Rd. Note, this is not the fairgrounds location. As you pull in from B1/2 Rd, follow the black-topped road to the right and drive forward until you reach the large parking lot. The bus and students will gather in front of the Research Extension Forestry building.

Expectations for Students:

The Farm Introduction will set expectations for a respectful visit with input from the students, some of these will include:

  • Always walking- never running on the farm
  • Staying with the group at all times
  • Being respectful of: garden tools, kitchen equipment, other students and selves
  • Refraining from touching, picking, or eating plants unless permitted by staff.
  • Having fun and asking questions!


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