Meet our teacher leaders

Whitney Short teaches agriscience and biotechnology to 7th-12th graders at Anthony Wayne High School in Perrysburg, Ohio. She recently attended the Commodity Classic in Florida with a group of educators and found the collaboration really helpful in learning from other science teachers and gaining ideas to build curriculum.

In the classroom: “One of my favorite things from GrowNextGen is the career video section. I often use these videos to introduce a unit, talk about careers, and more,” Whitney said. She has also used the site’s e-learning courses and lesson plans.

For other educators: Short and two other teacher leaders are currently writing units directly aligned to new standards for agriculture classes. They are developing plans for each unit in the Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources course, the first course every ag student takes. Her goal? For each teacher to be able to access GrowNextGen for curriculum to use in their classrooms. “We have found that teachers are much more likely to implement the labs if they’ve done them themselves, so we take the labs to the teachers and teach them how to do them,” said Short.  

Classroom connection

Here’s a lesson that Whitney Short wrote.

Growing More Food. How will we feed 9 billion people? Soybeans are a good source of protein. This lesson helps students learn about different options for growing soybeans, such as no-till versus conventional cultivation. Next, they’ll compare the growth of traditional soybean seeds with seeds that have been genetically modified to withstand the effects of a widely-used herbicide. Finally, they’ll write a technical paper sharing experiment data and background research. These activities combine science and engineering practices with cross-disciplinary content.

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