The OCW-sponsored Feed the World Springfield workshop attracted 31 teachers from all over Ohio representing agriscience, biology, chemistry, environmental science and general science. Participants worked through labs from ohiocorneducation.org on topics related to GMOs/Biotechnology, Energy and Ethanol, Water Quality,Soil and Sustainability, and the challenges of Feeding the World. They dissected corn plants and learned about the growing cycles and the economics of corn production. Dr. Tracy Kitchel, Chair of OSU’s Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, attended the workshop and participated in the lab activities, giving him a unique perspective of the program.
Held at the Global Impact STEM Academy, day one concluded with a dinner at Josh Jennings’ farm, bringing together teachers, industry experts, local farmers and OCW Board members. Dr. Kitchel commented, “Thursday night’s dinner was a beautiful representation of how people can and should engage about their food – by breaking bread together, asking questions and sharing perspectives.” Day 2 included a field trip to the Valero Renewables Ethanol Plant where teachers discovered that the ethanol they prepared in the lab was 99% ethanol — an A+ for the teachers!
The teachers attending the workshop were thoroughly engaged in this workshop and excited to get lab supplies to use with their students. Some comments from the evaluations included:
“My favorite part was talking to a real farmer at dinner!”
“I got information, activities and supplies that can be used in my classroom this fall — right away.”
“We received an enormous amount of resources and information about agriculture.”
“Lots of great, free curriculum and lots of help! I know who to contact in the future!”
“One of the best professional development workshops I have ever attended.”