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Middle school students spend week on the farm

  • The IChallengeUth team is pictured with Yumiko Jakobcic, back row left, and Melissa Peraino, back row right.
  • A skit during the pitch meeting.
  • Youssef Darwich introduces students to the farm.
  • Student at the farm.

Posted on August 13, 2015

A team of middle school students from Ottawa County spent a week at the Sustainable Agricultural Project and were charged with a challenge to increase awareness of it on campus.

The IChallengeUth program is sponsored by the Ottawa Area ISD. Teams of seventh and eighth graders are sent to host organizations to work on a real-world problem specific to that organization.

Yumiko Jakobcic, campus sustainability coordinator, said the students spent each day at the farm doing chores and learning more about its process.

They pitched their problem-solving idea on August 13 to faculty and staff members, prior to the final pitch August 14, when they will be in front of IChallengeUth judges at Haworth in Holland.

Their idea to create awareness of the farm on campus is to host a FarmFest in October, inviting the campus community and the public. The team suggested hayrides, games, food samples and invitations to begin CSA shares.

The team was led by teachers Heather Dickerson from Creekside Middle School in Zeeland and Lindsay Cherry from Harbor Lights Middle School in the West Ottawa district.

Students were Kyelar Golisch, Alaina Lang, Emily Siler and Sam Tanner from Jenison Junior High; Lexi Tater from Lakeshore Middle School; Shane Vaara from Harbor Lights Middle School; and Eli Sierra from Mac Bay Middle School.