The World’s Largest Agricultural Classroom

Posted on: Thu, 09/20/2018 - 09:00

Experiential learning has a significant impact on students. Hands-on activities spark excitement and the opportunity to apply information. In Frederick County, we are fortunate that our students get to experience The Great Frederick Fair in a variety of ways.

photo of Dr. Alban at the Great Frederick Fair
Dr. Alban waves to Dr. Markoe as
he participates in the harness race.


Visit the World’s Largest Agricultural Classroom! At first, I could not fathom what those words actually meant. However, as I joined numerous students at The Great Frederick Fair, I witnessed firsthand how the collaboration between Frederick County Public Schools staff and the Fair Board creates an amazing learning experience in a unique “classroom!”

Nearly 5,000 students participate in field trips to The Great Frederick Fair. Prior to their visit, teachers present curricular materials connected to the stations and areas they will visit. Dedicated parent chaperones escort the students to learning stations such as “City Streets, Country Roads” or “Sheep, Goats & Fiber.” At these stations, community volunteers offer demonstrations and hands-on activities for students. The field trip also includes visits to the various animal barns, exhibition halls, and Machinery Row (all of which are staffed by community volunteers). Students make connections to what they have learned in science, social studies, and mathematics. And students have fun!

For many students, The Great Frederick Fair is an integral part of their FFA experience. Whether showing animals, entering exhibits, or serving as guides, these students are gaining leadership skills and experiences. Other high school students are using skills learned in media, journalism, or communication classes to provide ongoing coverage of events.

Agriculture is one of the most important industries in Frederick County and the State of Maryland. I can think of no better place to understand the importance of agriculture in our daily lives than at The Great Frederick Fair. And I didn’t even talk about the fabulous food!

Do you have any fun and educational fair experiences to share? I’d love to hear from you on Twitter @FCPSMDSuper. And if you enjoyed this post, please feel free to share it on Facebook or Twitter.

photo of Dr. Markoe in harness race
Dr. Michael Markoe, Deputy Superintendent, waves to the crowd as he participates in the harness race.

Great Frederick Fair Fun Links

Check out the “Banking on Agriculture’s Future: It’s Fair Game” game board:

See the “Spuddy Buddy Sense-ational Game” board:

Read about the “Fair in a Box”:

Learn more about agricultural education at The Great Frederick Fair: