We started the week by preparing for our upcoming Day Habilitation sessions and our first Skillathon. We started working on our final report as well.
On Tuesday, we met with the Rock Rapids Day Hab group to present our “Smelly Socks” lesson to teach the participants how to do laundry properly. They emptied pockets, sorted bags of clothing into whites, reds, and darks, matched socks, and treated several types of stains. We had another “Smelly Socks” lesson in Orange City on Thursday.
Our first Skill-a-thon was on Tuesday at the Sioux County Fair. The participants ages 4th-12th grade were all engaged with learning about the beef and pork industry. Our six teaching stations included feedstuffs, equipment, meat cuts, ear notching, implanting, and breeds. The kids took a short pretest at the beginning and a quiz at the end to see what they learned. They all left with more knowledge than when they arrived! Us interns enjoyed seeing the animals and everything else happening at the fair, as two of us had never been to a county fair before!
On Wednesday, we attended the Northwest Iowa Field Day. With many farmers, we learned about N-P-K application, soil quality, weather, and the benefits of short corn. Much of the information went over our heads, but we know now that farmers have a LOT to consider when caring for their land. In the evening, we were back at the fair to judge working exhibits, which included the activities of writing cards to veterans for Midwest Honor Flights and making “monsters” out of pool noodles and other art supplies. We decided both of these working exhibits should go to the state fair!
On Friday, we helped at the first Midwest Youth Dairy Goat Judging Contest at the Clay County Fairgrounds in Spencer.
This week in Story County, the team started with a morning in the Beloit Donation Garden. Harvesting, weeding, and other regular garden tasks took place that we happily assisted! Through each visit, we gain lots of new knowledge for our ongoing projects. We absorb as much information as we can through research, experience in the garden, and meetings with our very own Iowa State Extension and Outreach Staff in Story County to finalize our documents as we start to wrap things up.
It’s getting to that time when each team member has begun wrapping up their projects and summarizing everything accomplished throughout the summer. The team still has lots of time left and many more things to check off their lists, but they are being proactive by starting to piece the final project together.
Growing Together Iowa Visit
The Rising Star team had the opportunity to participate in one of the Growing Together Iowa garden visits with Katie Sorrel and many other important individuals that made this project happen! This is the same garden the team has been volunteering in for the past few weeks of the internship. It was amazing to see the other side of the hard work that goes into providing fresh produce to low income individuals through this grant.
The Rising Star interns had a slow start to our week, but we were able to catch up and plan for our upcoming projects. We made a poster about the Rising Star Internship Program to display at the Shelby County Fair this upcoming week and made the salsa for the farmer’s market.
Fair Clean-Up Day
On Thursday, we helped clean up the Shelby County fairgrounds to get ready for the fair next week. 4-H members and Clover kids enjoyed donuts before cleaning and sweeping the buildings. Then they set up booths and stands for their projects. Everyone was such a big help, and we were done before noon!
Harlan’s Farmers Market
Grace and I kicked off our Saturday morning at the farmers market in Harlan. We had an educational booth with samples of Cowboy Caviar with tortilla chips, the recipe for the salsa, and fresh fruit and vegetable guides. The guides had information about which fruits and vegetables are in season each month, their nutritional benefits, and how to properly wash them. It was such a beautiful day, and everyone enjoyed the salsa!
This week we focused on getting our skillathon together and planned out how we are going to go about the rest of our DayHab sessions. For our DayHab sessions, we met with Donna Mills and went through the scripts for “Smelly Socks” and “Budget Boss”. We also had a DayHab session this week for the village Northwest group for the session “Move your body”, the group was very engaging with the activities we had planned for them for that session.
Additionally, we met with Cheryl Heronemus and had an intense practice session for our Skill-a-thon, fine-tuning our scripts. Finally, towards the end of the week, we headed to Sioux County to judge some working exhibits; 4-H members created a come and go activity for the public to participate in.
With this week being that of the Fourth of July, not a whole lot happened this week in region 4! This week consisted on tying up some loose ends on some lesser projects, and putting in some time finalizing the bigger ones. We worked with Steve Hanson to start finalizing our rock garden at the Art Farm, having a meeting on Friday to discuss the plans for our boulders we plan on placing at the farm. Taylor worked on an idea board for said boulders, aiming to maintain a farm feel for the piece. She also worked with Steve to find the artist to paint the rocks, as well as reworking the original idea into a brand new one. The new idea is to have either one large boulder or 6 smaller ones stacked into a pyramid shape. Surrounding said rocks will be the rocks from the rock painting activity we have been doing with the community to showcase all the hard work the kids put into their pieces.
Paige began work on finalizing the lesson plan binder for Lincoln Intermediate greenhouse. She sorted through all the different content we had been given, and chose the ones that would work best for the greenhouse and the grades we are working with. She is also ensuring that it lines up with the curriculum for the students. She has been working hard to format everything so it all looks neat and professional!
With a slow start to our week within the region the Story county team was able to step back and take note of our projects. We spent Monday and Tuesday looking over each project in order to find where we were, what needed more work, and how to make sure everything was finished by our deadlines. This reflection was able to provide clear insight on which elements of our projects required more focus.
Early in the week we began to push more into the connections and business aspects of our projects working for the cultivating hope 4 H club. With the completion of the sponsorship information packet we were able to begin reaching out to potential sponsors to spread the word of the club and its benefits. We also began reaching out to local businesses about donating prizes for a silent auction at a Cultivating Hope 4 H awareness night where all proceeds will go to the club.
Rising Star Learning Day
Thursday was spent with the rest of our fellow Rising Star interns learning about different sections of ISU Extension both on and off campus. Our day began at the ISU Horticulture Center speaking to the different professionals about the ins and outs of the different sections of gardens and grow areas. We listened to presentations from specialists about agriculture, pest management, environmental change and nutrition. It was also a great time to talk with the other interns and get to know the types of projects that they had all been working on out in their respective counties.
On Wednesday, we had our weekly Community Health Wellness Walk; unfortunately, we had to move it inside to the Petersen Family Wellness Center due to the rain. Instead of walking laps around Pioneer Park, we walked around the running track. Even though the location was changed, we still had a great turnout for our walk.
Career Exploration Day in Ames
We traveled up to Ames for Career Exploration Day to learn more about the possible careers in extension. In the morning, we got a tour of the Horticulture Research Station. We got to see the apple orchards, where they explained how they protect the apples from insects or any other factors that can affect product quality. We then saw where they are growing the soccer field for ISU Athletics. We spent our afternoon at the Memorial Union learning about Human Sciences and Community and Economic Development/Design and the different jobs that they offer.
Shelby County Wellness Alliance
Julia has continued to create content for the Shelby County Wellness Alliance Facebook page. The goal of the Shelby County Wellness Alliance Facebook page is to encourage Shelby County residents to exercise more, eat healthier, and achieve overall wellness. This is achieved by spreading information and promoting events. One of the flyers Julia created this week was this one for kayak fishing on Sunday, July 2nd.
We worked on some of our DayHabs about Moving Your Body and visited our Village North West groups’ facilities. They have a very unique setup with several rooms in which different groups are working on several projects spanning a month. Above is one of their craft and art rooms. We then had lunch with them and socialized with our friends that have come to our sessions.
On the same day, we helped with a camp for kids to make fuel cell cars. They first started by constructing little cardboard and bottle cap cars. Then they attached a balloon onto them to see them go. We arrived after that and got to help with the actual fuel-cell cars. They pumped water into a fuel cell and then pushed electricity through it, which converted the water into hydrogen and oxygen that went into syringes. Once they reconnected some wires, the cars took off. They all showed their creative sides after that by making Lego car bodies to go on top of their fuel-cell cars to race with.
One of the most fun opportunities this week for me personally was going to the Career Day for all of the Rising Star Interns. We saw sites for apple trees, chicken-powered gardens (chickens gave nutrients to the ground), robot-puppy mowers, and the site where our very own Jack Trice turf was grown. Then we learned about a couple extension stories on how some of the staff came to extension. We had a nice meal and finally heard about some of the main areas in extension and how important these areas can be.
The Rising Star interns had our work cut out for us this week in both Cerro Gordo and Worth counties. In Cerro Gordo County, we have continued our work on the Lincoln Intermediate Greenhouse project. This week, that work has consisted of reaching out to volunteer organizations to help facilitate the use of the greenhouse and exploring curriculum and lesson planning resources. We had meetings with both STEM specialist Alexa Groff and Green Thumb coordinator Maya Rowe to discuss our next steps in creating lesson plans for the school to use. We discussed challenges such as class duration, curriculum applicability, and classroom management in order to begin with the end in mind. Currently, Paige is working on a handbook for the greenhouse that will include lesson plans as well as supporting resources for the teachers to utilize. In Worth County, however, our work this week looked much different. We were able to get to the Art Farm multiple times this week to help out with farm chores and plant our corn and squash garden, which will ultimately be used for an art project regarding the history of corn. Albit tiring, this work did come with the treat of fresh raspberries from the bushes on the farm!
Toward the end of the week, we took a trip up to Ames, Iowa, to learn more about the work that Iowa State Extension and Outreaches does, as well as explore the careers within the organization. This meeting started with a tour of the horticulture center and encompassed a variety of extension specialists and professionals introducing us to their work and area of expertise. We were able to gain some valuable insight into the company and the many different career paths that ISU Extension and Outreach offers to its employees. This was of particular interest to Taylor, who is considering a long-term position with the organization after finishing her final semester at ISU this fall!
Lots of great things happening at the Linn County Fair this week! Lila and Keira have been busy helping the fair association prepare for the variety of events at the fairgrounds. From taking tickets in the grandstands to participating in a watermelon carrying relay race, these girls are working hard!
Lila has been able to observe the circulation of people in and out of the grandstand during events. This information will influence the plan for the new grandstand design she is working on. Considerations such as sound set up, restroom design, capacity, entrances and safety are all things she is diligently taking notes on this week. In addition to the research and hands-on experience she is getting for her project, Lila and Keira are getting the full county fair experience. They have toured the livestock barns, watched some great concerts, and of course tried some delicious fair food!