How do you like to learn?
Do you prefer an in-depth explanation before trying something new, or are you a jump-in-with-both-feet type? Do you remember best when you hear something, do something, or see something?
As parents, educators or employers, we may be well aware that our children, students, and employees – like ourselves – learn in different ways. And that retaining and understanding new information – making it our own – takes time, repetition, and the opportunity to apply and reflect on what we have learned.
That’s why the Youth Farm Safety Project offers a range of programs and resources. Our safety camps and safety days incorporate videos, pencil and paper activities, hands-on workshops, and discussion. Information is delivered, experienced, and reinforced through varied and developmentally appropriate activities.
Our latest resource –Play It Farm Safe at uvm.edu/extension/youthfarmsafety/ – takes this same approach on-line.
Play It Farm Safe is an on-line farm safety game for youth 12-15 years old. Players choose an avatar and mascot and make their way through five “worlds,” each with its own farm safety theme. The game includes illustrated and interactive farm hazard scenarios, fill-in-the-blank and multiple choice activities, and videos featuring Vermont farming youth. Players who complete all five worlds – including the Blue Ribbon quizzes – unlock a completion form to download and send to the Vermont state 4-H office for a congratulatory completion certificate. An excellent addition to a student portfolio.
In addition to the game, we will also be providing supplemental resource materials that can be downloaded for free from our Youth Farm Safety Project webpage. These materials will include pencil and paper activities that align with the game as well as outlines for hands-on farm safety activities appropriate for the classroom or 4-H club. You can check back for these materials in September (And be sure to check out the 98 farm safety resource links while you’re on the page as well.).
Please feel free to send us feedback on the Play It Farm Safe game as well as our webpage. We want to develop and deliver lasting resources that contribute to the health and safety of our young farmers for years to come.
Finally, let me not forget to note that while an on-line game can be an engaging piece of the learning picture – providing the opportunity to build, review, and apply farm safe knowledge through a fun and youth-friendly activity – it is no substitute for hands-on training and the active supervision of an experienced adult.
Play It Farm Safe – for real – every day!