More than 30,000 children will be inspired, educated and entertained at Queensland’s largest classroom – Ekka – over the 10 days of show.
Agricultural Education Hall
The newly named Agricultural Education Hall features more educational activities for children than ever before, including the new Field to Fork interactive rural journey.
It’s vital the next generation understands that everything starts with agriculture, from the food they eat to the clothes they wear.
The number of educational activities in the Ag Education Hall has almost doubled since 2016 - last year’s interactive journey featured six activities while this year it has 11.
Field to Fork
Kids will be taken on a rural journey, as they discover how food gets from the field to their fork. In order of the agricultural cycle - composting, soil analysis, growing and planting, harvesting and processing - they’ll follow the arrows taking part in the following activities:
This brand new activity highlights the importance of compost in soil health and kids will also learn methods for at home composting. They’ll take part in fun interactive activities including lifting flaps to find composting fun facts and pulling out draws to see the different layers of a compost bin. The kids will also check out a live wormery, before weighing themselves to find out just how much they would have to eat if they were a worm. Did you know worms eat up to half their body weight each day and for a 30kg kid that’s equivalent to around 18 loaves of bread!
Street Science - Soil Analysis
Kids will learn about soil health, as they gather data and assess the health of crops. They’ll get hands-on as they test the soil - looking at drainage, soil pH, nutrient levels, soil texture and the soil community including ants, worms and microbes. They’ll also compare soil types to crops, learning where certain plants grow the best. Once they’ve worked their way through the soil analysis, they’ll have enough information to complete a basic data sheet and solve a soil based dilemma.
Horizonuas and Queensland Drones - Soil Analysis
Kids will be inspired as they learn about the usage and importance of drones in agriculture. They’ll find out how farmers use them in both crop and weed spraying and seeding - and they’ll even be able to test their flying skills as they have a go in a drone simulator. The kids will also be wowed by the largest drone on display - it’s a huge 3.6m long and 1m high!
Steminabox - Soil Analysis
Kids will continue their tech journey as they explore the use of robotics in agriculture. They’ll learn how robotics can help log environmental data such as soil moisture, temperature and humidity. The kids will even get to program and guide a robot via remote control as it moves around the floor.
Growing and Planting
Kids will learn how to identify different types of fruit and vegetables. They’ll get their hands dirty as they dig through the farmers patch, finding five different types of vegetables including potatoes and carrots. They’ll then sort them, ready for market.
Growing Fruit, Vegetables and Herbs - Growing and Planting
By visiting the hydroponics and aquaponics stations, kids will learn how edible plants can be grown without the use of soil. They’ll see fruit and vegetables growing in water and straw including lettuce, capsicum and strawberries. The kids will learn how these systems work and are sure to be amazed.
Vegepod and Bee Yourself - Growing and Planting
Raised garden bed kits will be used to teach kids how to grow edible food in an urban environment. They’ll learn how to water, protect, contain and harvest edible plants, all through organic means - and they’ll even get to plant seeds themselves. They’ll also find out how native stingless bees are great pollinators for their plants.
Steampunx Academy - Harvesting
Using specifically created food-related robots, kids will undertake several challenges controlling Mindstorm EV3 Robots. They’ll make modifications and then take control of their very own ‘food-bot’ wirelessly with an iPad. The kids will be tasked with harvesting related challenges including collecting mini hay bundles, rescuing a bogged tractor and transporting crops to the factory.
Farming Simulator - Harvesting
It’s time to unleash the farmer inside! Kids will be given 15 minutes to carry out farming related tasks on a PS4 game such as harvesting, looking after farm animals, selling fresh produce and investing in farming vehicles and tools.
The Grain Chain - Processing
Kids will learn all about the grain to flour process and what’s involved in turning grains into consumable commercial products. They’ll follow the journey from start to finish - getting hands-on by opening and peeking through the silo door and touching and grinding wheat, oats and barley. There’ll even be an interactive grains quiz at the end.
Get Kids Cooking – Cooking
Kids will be inspired as they learn to make a delicious and healthy cheesy corn muffin using the flour milled in the Processing activity - perfect for their school lunchbox! In this step by step cooking class they’ll get hands on as they measure, mix, grate, chop and bake. The kids will love devouring their freshly baked muffin at the end of the class.
All Field to Fork activities run from 9am to 6pm, except for Get Kids Cooking which finishes at 5pm.
Street Science Stage Show
WHEN: 10am to 4pm, on the hour
Scientists young and old will be blown away by this spectacular science stage show. It’ll feature nutrient content analysis with coloured flames and the use of liquid nitrogen to snap freeze peas. Ekka runs during National Science Week and the theme this year is future Earth and sustainability, so the show will follow a mix of agriculture and this theme.
Queensland Beekeepers Association
WHEN: 9am to 6pm
At the Queensland Beekeepers Association stand, kids will learn all about the different types of honey including the areas it’s found, when it flowers and the different uses for it.
There will also be honey extraction demonstrations throughout the day, with the experts showing the kids how honey is stored by bees and how it’s collected by the beekeeper. The kids will also get hands-on at 12.30pm each day, as they use beeswax to make candles and creams.
WHEN: 9am to 6pm
Kids will get a hands-on lesson in all things water, at the Seqwater stand. Their main attraction is a large virtual reality sandbox, to teach kids how water catchments work. Under a projector, the seemingly normal sandbox becomes a virtual topographical map, with a sensor detecting changes in the elevation of sand in real time, which allows the kids to create their own hills, valleys and lakes and simulate rainfall.
WHEN: 9am to 6pm
This educational stand is all about learning what makes the Great Barrier Reef great and how to keep it that way. The Reef Foundation will have plenty of interactive games for the kids, including a digital game where the kids will figure out what’s good for the reef and what isn’t, measuring a replica turtle to figure out how old it is and getting to hold and feel coral skeletons. After learning all about the reef, the kids can then watch the new Children’s Fireworks at 6pm which is inspired by the colours of the Great Barrier Reef and features marine animal kites.