By Alexandra Waller, Bell Shoals Academy, 7th Grade

The Mosaic “Big MoE” mobile education unit has been traveling all over the U.S. educating fourth and fifth-grade students on the phosphate in our body and in the food we eat. “Big MoE” is an interactive, hands-on experience inside a 42 ft. long bus. It has ushered in over 80,000 students in nine states since 2010. They teach that phosphate is used in everything from animal feed, fertilizer, and consumer products and that phosphate is vital to all life on this Earth.

Everything we eat is grown by farmers, and the farmers use phosphate in soil as fertilizer to help plants trap and use the sun’s energy to help grow healthy roots, fight diseases, and grow more abundantly. Without phosphate, there is no food.

Phosphate is very important in our bodies as well as in plants. Phosphate is in every living cell and counts as roughly two pounds of our body weight, mainly in our teeth and bones. It helps grow strong bones, repair bones if they break, help the nerves function, and the muscles move. It’s also part of the make up your DNA which makes us unique and completely different from each other.

Public Affairs Coordinator of Mosaic, Jim Johnson, one of the guides of ‘Big MoE” was at Stowers Elementary recently, interacting with the students and explaining the only two rules of “Big MoE” are “safety is first and have fun.” The students got to interact with and learn about the phosphate and its uses. Students can spin knobs and turn dials to “see crops grow” and “watch the mining process.” Jennifer Page, a fourth-grade science and math teacher at Stowers, said, “This is great and a good hands-on complement to our current curriculum. It is an important basis for future sixth-grade science studies.”

Mosaic is the world’s leading producer and marketer of phosphate. If you want to learn more about “Big MoE” and see when it will be coming to your area, visit


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Kelly Wise Valdes has been writing for the Osprey Observer since 2008. She graduated in 1989 from Florida Southern College with a B.S. in Communications and enjoys writing and traveling. She currently resides in northern Hillsborough County with her husband, David. When not traveling and writing, Kelly and her husband enjoy spending time with their five grown children (as well as their grandchildren) that still keep them very busy.