AGsploration: The Science of Maryland Agriculture is a statewide curriculum designed to increase middle school student agriculture literacy and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) skills. The curriculum consists of 24 peer-reviewed lessons with experiential, hands-on activities; a teacher's guide; a pre-packaged materials kit; evaluation materials; and supplemental digital resources. Each lesson is aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards. Topics include animal agriculture, plant agriculture, agriculture and the environment and agricultural technology. The program was developed by the faculty of University of Maryland Extension with support from researchers and industry professionals.

The curriculum for AGsploration: The Science of Maryland Agriculture has reached more than 54,000 Maryland youth since 2010, and more than 500 teachers have been trained to utilize the curriculum.

  • AGsploration

    Request FREE Agsploration Curriculum

  • Check out our collection of videos!

  • Submit Your Teaching Report Here!

AGsploration - Animal Agriculture Lessons

Food, Fiber, and More from Animals - Learn about the varied uses of animal byproducts or coproducts, focusing on agricultural animals produced in Maryland

Wild and Wooly - Learn about sheep and goats and the various products derived from them.

Moo Who? - Differentiate between beef and dairy cattle (Bos tarus) and observe how each species evolved.

Animal Digestion - Compare and contrast the digestive systems of ruminant (4 compartment stomach) and monogastric (single stomach) animals, observing how groups share differences and similarities, which can be used to infer the degree of relatedness among organisms.

Burgers, Chops and Steaks: Looking at Beef, Pork and Lamb  - Learn about meat consumed by humans and the role meat plays as an agricultural commodity in human diets as well as Maryland's economy.

Milk in Motion: A Dynamic Dairy Experiment - Learn about the dairy industry and dairy products, as well as learn about dynamic properties found in milk.

Poultry: Feed Basics for a Growing Bird - Learn about the effects of nutrition on broiler chicken growth and processing and simulate the mixing of poultry feed using animal feed rations.

Horses and Evolution - Understand how horses evolved over time and compare and contrast how different types of horses are used today, as well as learn horse-related terminology.

AGsploration - Plant Science Lessons

It's Not Just Dirt - Learn about soil as a natural resource, what its components are, how it is used and if it is renewable.

Send in the Sun: A Look at Photosynthesis - Observe the results of photosynthesis and lack of photosynthesis over an extended period of time.

Grains: The Whole Story - Understand the important food and non-food uses of the major grains grown in Maryland.

The Amazing Soybean - Explain the role of soybeans and other legumes in making nitrogen available in a form that can be used by plants, animals, and humans and understand why plants such as grasses benefit from legumes for growth.

Buy Close to Home, Eat Locally Grown - Simulate a farmer's market to learn more about the benefits of locally grown food.

Amaizeing Corn - Develop an understanding of the uses of corn in feeding humans and livestock, fueling our cars, and many other applications.

Agriculture and the Environment Lessons

Food for Thought: Agriculture in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed - Develop an understanding of the size and importance of the Chesapeake Bay watershed and recognize Maryland Agriculture as integral to human life in the watershed.

Do You Get My (Non)Point? Modeling Pollution in a Watershed - Develop an understanding of ways in which the activities of humans can cause nonpoint pollution within a watershed.

Conservation Choices: How Farmers and Developers Protect the Bay - Understand how Maryland farmers and developers can use conservation techniques to reduce environmental damage.

Who Lives Here? Species of the Bay Region and Watershed - Identify numerous species, including birds and wildlife living in the bay and its tributaries and learn how these species positively or negatively affect our bay.

Agricultural Technology Lessons

Persistent Pests - Simulate the effects of pesticides on an insect population and observe how the population changes over time.

Something Fishy: Aquaculture in Maryland - Understand that harvest rates of aquatic organisms by humans that are higher than reproductive rates can lead to a population's decline and realize the importance of aquaculture's role in providing a sustainable seafood supply for an increasing human population in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

What's in Your Genes? - Learn how to predict plant and animal offspring traits or characteristics using genetics.

Food Safety is for Everyone - Understand the causes of foodborne illnesses and how to prevent them, as well as stimulate the growth of bacterial colonies and learn proper hand washing techniques.

Down and Dirty with Biosecurity - Research biosecurity strategies and develop a plan to promote biosecurity at a hypothetical livestock production facility.

Feeding Our Future - Learn that DNA is the molecule responsible for the inheritance of traits and will understand that selective breeding and genetic engineering are used to develop desired traits.