Fun with Drones, Plants and Power

Cedar Falls, Iowa – July 23, 2015– Many students attend educational camps throughout the summer, and students from the Cedar Falls area recently wrapped up a four day camp learning about drones, plants, agriculture and natural resources.

The camp, one of series of STEM camps offered through the University of Northern Iowa, was coordinated and hosted by the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation. Ten students spent four days, July 6-10, with hands-on activities and science experiments. STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) are all around us and a part of everyday life.

“Learning about agriculture is a great way to put STEM concepts into practice and make them real for students,” said Will Fett, executive director of the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation.

Students did experiments learning about two of Iowa’s leading agriculture crops – corn and soybeans. They dissected the seeds and learned the various plant parts. Students also learned how farmers use GPS technology in the field and how using technology can help them protect the soil and the environment.

One highlight of the camp was a demonstration of a drone and how they are used in agriculture. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles or drones can help farmers identify problems in their fields without directly walking into each field.

One day of the camp included a field trip where students visited a farm and got to take a tour of it. The field trip included visiting a wind farm where students discussed renewable energy. The field trip also included visit to a cooperative and students saw how grain is sold and then transported via railcar. Finally, the students visited an implement dealership where farmers purchase their machinery and learned about the advanced technology that farmers work with every day.

“We hope that students walk away with a continued interest in STEM and a new found interest in agriculture and agriculture careers,” said Fett.

Campers visited with farmers, ethanol producers, grain buyers, software engineers, and researchers. They learned about the more than 300 careers in agriculture beyond farming. The Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation plans to host similar student focused camps in the future.

The camp was funded in part by the University of Northern Iowa and Iowa EPSCoR.

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About the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation

IALF serves as a central resource for educators and volunteers who want to teach Iowa’s students about agriculture. The mission is to educate Iowans, with a focus on youth, regarding the breadth and global significance of agriculture. Iowa is a leading producer of agricultural products that are essential to feed a growing world population, estimated to reach more than 9 billion by 2050. IALF believes it is important for all Iowans to understand the essential role agriculture has in their lives. IALF will support existing agriculture education efforts such as FFA, 4-H and Ag in the Classroom. IALF was created through a joint effort of agricultural stakeholders, including the Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, Iowa Pork Producers Association, Iowa Soybean Association, Silos and Smokestacks Foundation, DuPont Pioneer, GROWMARK, and the Iowa Beef Industry Council. For more information visit IALF online at, on Facebook, and Twitter.


Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation


Will Fett, Executive Director
Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation

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