“Ear’s” looking at you, corn!

Mark Starkey of Western Reserve High School engaged his students with the Growing Ohio lessons as one of their first in-person activities this school year. “The anatomy of the corn plant certainly fits into agricultural education in many facets, especially plant and animal science. Corn serves as the staple crop for our state and the whole “Corn Belt Region”. It is widely used to feed our livestock to provide protein in human diets, to fuel our vehicles and power equipment, and as a large source of our own human diets, as my students discovered when they ransacked their own pantries and located numerous products that contained corn,” said Starkey.

These lessons were done with students in small cohort groups. “One of the “A-HA” moments came because I somewhat set the students up,” said Starkey. “When I sent out the original assignment for students to bring in an ear of corn, I offered bonus points to any student that brought in an ear of corn with an odd number of rows of kernels, due to the fact that they were “much more rare” (as I put it). Then, in class, after we tallied up the results of approximately how many kernels were on each ear, and determined that all the ears of corn had an even number of rows, students figured out that having an odd number of rows of kernels was not “rare”; it was nonexistent!”

He used this material in his Plant and Animal Science class, and he also plans to use other Feed the World activities in his Science and Technology of Food classes.

Starkey found the summer workshop a worthwhile experience. “The workshop helped me incorporate exciting, yet simple, activities into my curriculum. The workshop also provided a variety of amazing tools for me to keep in my “classroom toolbox”, along with providing a network of fellow teachers and professionals to help with anything and everything.

Join us for this summer’s workshop, with great learning opportunities and free classroom supplies! Watch our events page, monthly newsletter, and social media!