Image of wheat

Extension Activities

Make an edible topographic map of New York State

  • Using different colored layers of Jell-O
  • Using peanut butter dough
  • Using a New York-shaped cookie

Non-edible options:

  • Using salt dough
  • Using Delta Foam

Contact a local soil testing lab or your local Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) office to find out what services and resources they provide. They may have posters, soil profiles and soil samples available for you to borrow. NRCS is an outreach service of the USDA providing educational assistance for land owners regarding conservation of soil, water, and other natural resources. You can use the USDA Service Center Locator at: http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/ locator/app to contact your local office.

Can you grow your favorite fruit or vegetable here?
Ask students to research the needs (light, temperature, nutrients, etc.) of their favorite fruit or vegetable (the products origin will give clues to what conditions it needs to grow). Determine if it will be possible to grow it in your school garden (i.e. tomatoes), or if the climate could be modified to create the proper conditions (such as growing it in a school greenhouse, e.g. an avocado tree).

Making weather-tracking tools
Visit http://www.kidsgardening.com/Dig/DigDetail.taf?ID=1042&Type=Art to learn how to build a weather station to measure local short-term changes in the weather and track more long-term climate information or attain data from a local weather station (or access NOAA weather information) to determine what will grow there. (This will help explain why we do not produce large quantities of bananas and coconuts in New York State).