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Rural Kansas school teaches math, science, economics through hands-on farm program

First-grade student Destiny Smith prepares hay to feed the cows.
First-grade student Destiny Smith prepares hay to feed the cows.Jeff Tuttle / Reuters
First grade student Livie Classenn recites the Pledge of Allegiance to start the day at the Walton Rural Life Center Elementary School, in Walton, Kan., Jan. 18. Students at the school do farm chores at the beginning of each school day. The Walton Rural Life Center - a kindergarten through fourth grade charter school in rural Kansas - uses agriculture to teach students about math, science, economics.Jeff Tuttle / Reuters
A dozen fresh farm eggs sold by the students is pictured.Jeff Tuttle / Reuters

Working with animals, for example, is a study in math because students count eggs in dozens, add and subtract money earned and spent, measure animal food in fractions of each container and equate perimeter lengths with animal pens.

Feeding the animals is not just a chore, said Walton Rural Life Center teacher Amanda Paulus.

"It gives them a lot of responsibility in that they are actually caring for something that depends on them," Paulus said.

-- By Kevin Murphy, Reuters

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Second-grade student Madison Schroeder washes the eggs after the morning farm chores.Jeff Tuttle / Reuters
Second-grade student Brylee Budde counts the money earned from selling eggs.Jeff Tuttle / Reuters
Third-grade students Cody Eye and Elizabeth Harder feed the hogs.Jeff Tuttle / Reuters
Wool that was sheared by the students is washed and dried before the students make yarn from the material.Jeff Tuttle / Reuters
First-grade student Destiny Smith prepares hay to feed the cows.Jeff Tuttle / Reuters