The FFA program at Seaman High School provides a hands on experience that not every school can provide. They built a chicken coop on the school grounds. The idea came into being from the school’s FFA Instructor, Megan VanGordon. She’s passionate about agriculture and her students, and wants her students to understand how agriculture impacts their lives. She says, “It’s a huge passion and drive of mine for me to teach kids where their food comes from.” The chicken coop provides some of that first-hand knowledge.
Megan had another motive behind building the coop. She calls it a way of tricking her students into falling in love with agriculture. Her students are entirely responsible for it — they’re feeding and caring for the chickens. One of her students, Emily, even says they had to figure out how to make the watering system in the coop work themselves. Megan is proud to see the coop fuel a passion for agriculture among her students. It’s also helping them get more students involved in the school.
Before the coop’s construction, Megan reached out to the school’s special education teacher, Raquel Carlson. Megan had an idea to get the school’s special education program, the Viking Warriors, involved with the coop. She wants the coop to be a place where her FFA members can teach the Viking Warrior students, and it’s become just that. The Viking Warriors come out to the coop and learn how to feed and care for the birds, and the FFA members get a chance to interact with peers that they wouldn’t normally see in class. It’s become a learning experience for both groups of students, and a successful experience for both.
The chicken coop has been a huge success, and now more classes are reaching out to collaborate. Megan says, “We even have a creative writing class who wants to go out there one day and write a creative writing story about the chickens.” It’s been great to see how much of an impact the chickens have had on the school, and how supportive the school has been as a whole. Clearly a lot more classes will be held in the coop.