MUSCATINE, Iowa — Students from Central and West middle schools in Muscatine got a comprehensive lesson in safety from the barn to the home Wednesday at the Muscatine Ag Learning Center.
Monsanto's Ag Safety Day is held annually for Muscatine sixth-grade students.
"We offer ag safety, regular home safety and animal safety. Then we give them some hands-on activities. They put out a fire, all kinds of things," said Chris Boar, Monsanto's plant manager assistant.
The students moved through a series of activity stations in groups of 25. Approximately 60 Monsanto employees were on hand to help. Students from the Muscatine High School FFA assisted at the event.
The kids got to ride pedal cars through a maze wearing impairment goggles simulating intoxication from alcohol or drugs.
"Lots of these kids aren't old enough to drive yet but it still gives them an idea of the impairment from doing things that they shouldn't be doing," Boar said.
There were agriculture quiz stations. Other stations showed how to prevent hearing loss, the importance of wearing safety glasses and how to operate a fire extinguisher.
A "seat belt convincer" showed the effects of a low speed crash on an unbelted passenger seated in the rear of a vehicle.
The dummy suffered a broken nose and a broken arm.
A station asked the students to pick out the real food from a chemical look-alike.
"Just because it looks like candy, it's not candy," Boar said.
Another station demonstrated the force it takes to pull out somebody trapped in a grain bin.
"An adult male approximately six feet tall, if they are engulfed up to their waist it's going to take approximately 325 pounds of force to pull them out," said Mike Caffery of Monsanto.
A large dollhouse was staged so the students could try and spot hidden household hazards.
"I just think it's great for kids whether they're city kids or country kids to be able to get out and see things they normally don't get to see and learn a lot about safety," said Jason Paris of Monsanto.
The students got to see bees, horses, goats, cattle and sheep.
Diego Carranza, 12, a Central sixth-grader, said he learned that a bee dies when it stings you. But that's not all he learned Wednesday about animal safety.
"If you try to pet the horse or cow under its mouth or around there, it will mistake your hand for a carrot and try and bite it."
Lauren Michaelsen, 12, was bee crazy.
"I liked learning about honey bees. In the little crate they had, there were three types of bees, It was the drones, the queen bee and the worker bees. I only thought there was one type of bee so that was pretty cool."
Jayden Dillie, 11, was another animal lover.
"I really liked the goats. They are nice and friendly. I think they are funny when they do different things."