Farm science Review fun (and learning!)

There’s so much to see and do at the Farm Science Review (FSR)! Thanks to GrowNextGen, seven area teachers brought 158 students to this year’s event. This opportunity included admission tickets, bus transportation, reimbursement for a substitute teacher, and t-shirts to wear during the event. Students participated in a soybean production-based scavenger hunt while there, solving clues and taking photos of various objects.

River View High School has attended for many years, so teacher Allyssa McMullen jumped at the opportunity to win a trip sponsored by GrowNextGen. McMullen said at FSR, students learn about the newest industry standards, supplies and equipment. They also network with company representatives, colleges and other organizations. McMullen’s animal science classes will be applying what they learned at FSR when they study nutrition and talk about livestock feed sources. “I like that my students can explain what GrowNextGen is and talk to other students about the resources on the site,” said McMullen.

Carrollton High School teacher Kelli Pridemore said her seniors liked the Ohio State University information booth, and they received a lot of good career information at the event. Pridemore will incorporate the business information gathered into her business management class.

Some of the teachers had brought students before, but for others this was a whole new experience. First-time visitor Cathi Mehl, an instructor at West High School, said her students were really surprised that soybeans had so many uses. They learned to differentiate fuels that are based on sugars from fuels that are based on oils. “This relates to our lessons on combustion, fuels, hydrocarbons, and gases. It is critical for inspiring young minds to connect a classroom subject with real life problem-solving.”

What they learned about at Farm Science Review will connect with their classroom work in creative ways. “I plan to help students make soy soap and soy candles for Christmas presents when studying bonding and hydrophillic versus hydrophobic molecular structures in solutions,” Mehl said.

Mehl was enthusiastic about the impact FSR had on her students. She explained, “None of our students had ever touched a cow or seen agricultural equipment. They tend to think food comes from a grocery or McDonalds. They asked great questions and met a wide range of people. They explored an entirely different culture and were accepted by all of the people they met. It will be hard to top this experience all year!”