Down on the farm in Warren
The COSI on Wheels program has been touring since 1983.
BY AMANDA GARRETT
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- Kindergartner Samara Henderson's brow furrowed in concentration as she milked Daisy, a life-size replica of a black and white cow, Thursday morning in the gymnasium of Alden Elementary. "It was fun, but I got wet," Samara said after her very first experience at cow milking.
Samara and Daisy were both taking part in a demonstration of the COSI (Center for Science and Industry) on Wheels Agriculture Adventures program, which teaches schoolchildren in Ohio and neighboring states about science, agriculture and nutrition.
"Our goal is to teach children that food doesn't just appear on the table," said Nicole Mackey, who has been working with COSI on Wheels for three years. "We show children how soil begins on the farm, how farmers take care of their product and how they use technology."
Other exhibits included testing soil samples, learning how to make cloth from wool and crushing wheat into flour.
COSI relies on parents and volunteers such as Darla Garlock and her daughter Kendra, a sixth-grader in the Maplewood School District, who were busy showing the pupils the proper way to milk Daisy.
The Garlocks live on a farm in Johnston Township, and Garlock said Daisy was more cooperative than her real-life counterparts.
"You don't have to worry about getting kicked or bumped or swatted in the face with a tail," Garlock said. "And when you pull on the udder something actually comes out."
About the program
The COSI on Wheels program, which is based in Columbus, has been in operation since 1983. The program has eight touring programs on topics such as chemistry, space exploration and physics, said Cory Cracchiolo of Columbus, who began touring with the Agricultural Adventures program two weeks ago.
Cracchiolo said he has worked with other COSI touring programs and he enjoys the energy the pupils bring to the program.
"You do the program five times a week, but every day is a special day," he said. "The kids come in and their expectations are so high, and they're just excited to have an adventure."
The COSI on Wheels program was sponsored by the Dominion East Ohio Gas Co., which will sponsor another agricultural exhibit at Alden in March, Principal Christine Gibowicz said.