Learning about biotech careers

Are your students aware of the many biotech careers associated with agriculture? The GrowNextGen website has a great resource collection for Biotechnology.

Kelly Blanchard teaches at Little Miami High School in Morrow, OH. She used the Biotechnology video with her students as an introduction to a Genetically Modified Plants lab. The video provided a springboard to talk about soybean hybrids and the educational requirements and possible career fields and job outlook associated with this type of research and product.

In the Genetically Modified Plants lab, students grew GM soybean seeds and corn and compared them to wild type (WT) soybeans and corn. Students are observing and analyzing the growth and quality of the different types of plants.

Blanchard said her students were impressed that Matt Stroud, Product Agronomist, had gone to a local high school, Blanchester, and a local college, Wilmington, to begin his career. “They were also interested to learn about the estimated 4,000 jobs that would be created worldwide in these product lines. The video gave them insight into what sort of high school and college classes should be taken to enter this type of field.”

Blanchard really enjoyed attending the 2-day Ag Biotech workshop. “It was very informative! It was great to do so many hands-on activities with other educators. I am looking forward to using the materials I received to do the Biofuel lab in a couple of weeks as well. I know the students are going to get pumped about the boat races when we put our biofuel to the test!”