squeeze chute: a device used to restrain large animals, especially cattle and horses
producer: someone who raises livestock or crops for others to consume
livestock: animals raised to produce commodities such as food and fiber (i.e. cattle, sheep, hogs)
handling: the manner in which an animal is treated
flight zone: distance from an animal a handler must maintain for the animal to feel comfortable
alleyway: a narrow corridor built for livestock to travel through when being herded from one location to anither nearby
agricultural engineer: career in which people design farm machinery or help plan farm structures
Did you know? (Ag Facts)
Temple Grandin was diagnosed with autism at age 2 and only began speaking after she was four years old. She went on to earn a bachelor's degree in psychology from Franklin Pierce College, a master's degree in animal science from Arizona State University, and a doctoral degree in animal science from the University of Illinois.
In 2010, Temple Grandin was included in Time magazine's list of 100 most influential people in the world in the "Heroes" category.
Dr. Grandin is an advocate of humane livestock practices and improvements of standards in slaughter houses, serves as a consultant to the livestock industry regarding animal treatment and behavior, and is a professor at Colorado State University.
Background Agricultural Connections
Interest Approach – Engagement
Discuss the words and definitions from the Thinking in Pictures Word List.
Use the Thinking in Pictures Frayer Model to focus on unfamiliar vocabulary words.
Discuss what it would be like to "think in pictures."
Share words from the word list and ask students to share what they see in their mind. Emphasize that there are no right or wrong ways to think; we all think differently.
Divide into two teams. Each person will take turns being the team illustrator.
Set the timer for 3-5 minutes. Both teams will pick a card and draw at the same time. For each new word, a new person should draw. Teams will keep track of how many words they guess correctly. The team with the most correct words wins. The teams will have the same words to illustrate, but might not draw them in the same order.
Explain to the students that they will be exploring how "thinking in pictures" helped Temple Grandin to develop livestock management systems that benefitted the animals and the agriculture industry.
Activity 1: Cattle Flight Zones
Show the video Understanding Flight Zones to help students understand what a flight zone is and how it affects the comfort of the animals.
Discuss cattle movement and how entering and exiting the flight zone affects their movement.
Pass out a Cattle Flight Zones Reading Page and Cattle Flight Zones Comprehension Sheet to each student. Ask the students to do a close reading of the reading page and then complete the comprehension sheet.
Activity 2: Curved Cattle Chute
Present the following scenario to the students: A local cattle operation has a problem. They need to move their cattle from pasture through a cattle chute to doctor them, but the cattle are afraid to walk through the chute.
Explain to the students that their job is to design a cattle chute using the following guidelines:
The chute should have at least 3 turns causing the cattle to change directions.
The chute should end with a squeeze chute or pen to collect cattle.
The chute should start wide and then narrow as it reaches the squeeze chute or final pen, requiring the cattle to move through a single-file line.
Pass out an Engineering Process handout to each student. Walk through the engineering process as a class.
Organize the students into small groups and have each group work as a team to design a cattle chute using the Engineering Process.
Provide each group with a paper plate, scissors, glue, and tape and access to card stock, yarn, straws, construction paper, and pipe cleaners to construct their prototypes. Give each group magnets glued to blocks of wood to represent the cattle who will be moving through the chute and a magnetic wand.
After the prototypes are built and tested, allow time for the groups to share their designs. Ask the students to consider the following:
How can we provide evidence that fields exist between objects exerting force on each other even though the objects are not in contact?
How does the motion of the block cattle compare to live cattle moving and processing information as they respond to the chute and/or distractions?
Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.