Time to Show the Rest of the Science Education World What We Do!
Agriscience is well known in our profession, but does the rest of science education even know we exist? Take this opportunity for your students to showcase their understanding of science and its impact on society. Let your students combine their passion for agriculture and science and enter the DuPont Challenge Science Essay contest. More than $25,000 in award money is available, as well as trips to Walt Disney World and the Kennedy Space Center. Teachers of winning students are included in the awards and travel opportunities. See the ad in this issue of Making a Difference or go to www.thechallenge.dupont.com.
Looking for a Way to Connect Food Production with Other Countries?
The Growing Connection (TGC) is a grassroots project developed by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the American Horticultural Society, supported by a progressive coalition of private and public sector partners.
The Growing Connection links people and cultures in a revolutionary campaign that introduces low-cost, water-efficient and sustainable food-growing innovations hand-in-hand with wireless IT connectivity. It provides a sound educational foundation and offers hundreds of families, both in America and abroad, a concrete opportunity to earn income and climb out of desperation. Perhaps most important, The Growing Connection engages people – a network of committed individuals – in an elegant solution to one of man's fundamental challenges.
How does it work? School gardening programs and community gardens in the U.S., Ghana, Mexico and Nicaragua grow vegetables in an EarthBox system. Students grow food, conduct horticultural experiments and share their lessons and experiences with each other using IT connectivity. Through modern IT installations, The Growing Connection participants in U.S., Ghana, Mexico and Nicaragua are directly linked. And, more importantly, they are connected to sources of vital information and advice on growing food. Those who were once the most isolated can now grow, learn and choose their own opportunities.
Professional Development from the Comfort of your Office Chair
Did your schedule fill to the brim at convention last month, and you missed the teacher workshops? Or, were you planning on making a specific session, and the crisis of the day kept you from getting there? Or, did you spend convention week at home teaching in your classroom? Regardless of the reason, you can still attend the teacher professional development workshops that were presented in the interactive classroom at convention. Go to the Educator's Workroom and look for the convention workshops and highlights section. Or, simply select from the workshop list below. Each session is captured on flash video and features the discussion, slides and activities of that individual workshop. For real life effect, we even included a little Career Show background noise. Sit back, relax and enjoy the workshop without the worries of where your students are, what event is happening or any other challenge of convention.
Biofuels in the News
The October 2007 issue of National Geographic has an interesting article on biofuels and the ecological impact they have. The article provides good information on how new technology will impact the biofuel industry. This issue also features articles on the carbon cycle and global warming andinfectious animals and zoonotic diseases. Check out the October issue, then take a look at other past issues for agriculture-related articles to use in the classroom.
Electrophoresis on a Dime
Can't afford the equipment to teach electrophoresis to your students? That doesn't have to mean that you skip the lesson! Click here to see online interactive electrophoresis. Other interactive labs found at this University of Utah site include DNA extraction and DNA microarray. More video, podcasts, interactive and animation clips, along with virtual labs, can be found at the BioInteractive site provided by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
Interactive Beef Carcass
Trying to tie all those pictures of meat cuts into a whole carcass? Want to show the relationship of the skeleton to the cut of meat, or just wanting to illustrate how the beef carcass is structured? Then be sure and check out this amazing site from University of Nebraska – Lincoln. Bovine Mycology is a thorough collection of pictures, diagrams and other technology providing an excellent view of how a carcass is fabricated into primal and retail cuts. It also includes more than 20 video clips of sub-primal fabrication. This is one you don't want to miss.
Vet Science Curriculum Assistance
Take a look at the veterinary assistance training policy provided by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America. This document is shared with others in the area of agricultural education in order to standardize the level of instruction/education for students across the country studying to be an assistant to either a veterinarian or veterinary technician. (We do ask those using the policy to reference NAVTA as the source of the information.) The information provided can be used to develop a course curriculum, in addition to developing a work agreement for a student's SAE with a veterinary hospital or practice. Good detail, direct from the industry.
“Are You Smarter Than Your Ag Teacher?”
Many of you were able to visit the NAAE booth during national FFA convention in October. We had a great turnout for the game, “Are You Smarter Than Your Ag Teacher?” We supplied teachers who participated in the game with a classroom version of the game, so they could take them home to use in their classrooms. This game template is much like the Jeopardy game template where you have to insert your own questions, but everything should be hyperlinked so that you can easily operate the game. It can also be called, “Are You Smarter Than Your Ag Class?” so it can be used it as an instructional tool in your class. Attached is a copy of the game template and a short manual that will allow you to understand the basis behind the game and give you some pointers on how to use it in your class. You will need to have basic PowerPoint skills in order to customize each game.
Editor's note: Kudos to NAAE on their informative booth at the National FFA Agricultural Career Show last month. The initiative taken by the organization to promote agricultural education as a career set a great example for all of us as we struggle to fill the agriculture classrooms across the nation.