The National FFA Convention in October 2017 showed the value of science and agriscience programs working together to achieve student success through research. Five members of the Pettisville FFA were on stage at the national convention—all five used their Supervised Agriculture Experience Research projects to reach this level. And, all five used these or similar projects to participate in many levels of science fair competitions, led by Pettisville science teacher Mrs. Donna Meller.
From left front row are: Gretchen Lee, senior Agriscience Fair 2nd place in Division 5, Animal Systems with research on oregano oil and parasites; Chrysta Beck, 2014 graduate, Star Over America in Agriscience Research with multiple years of research on poultry production involving broilers and eggs; Kayla Wyse, junior, Agriscience Fair 1st place in Division 3, Plant Systems with research on the best environment for starting sweet potato slips; and Mrs. Donna Meller, science teacher and science fair research coordinator since 1999.
Back row left: Mr. John Poulson, agriscience teacher and FFA Advisor since 1990; Jacob Dennis, 2017 graduate, finalist in Plant Research Proficiency area focusing multiple years on soybean production potential practices; and Jordan Skates, senior, Agriscience Fair 2nd place in Division 5, Environmental Systems, focusing on wetlands, ponds and practices over multiple years.
Staff members and the community working together through science fair and FFA competitions have given Pettisville students numerous opportunities to share their findings at all levels of the industry. The teachers have used several industry connections to be trained with more ideas that are useful in STEM education, such as the lessons found on the GrowNextGen website.