Sparking interest in agriscience

What kind of soil do you have? And how good is your water quality? Samantha William’s advanced biology students at Williamsburg High School used the soil slake test from Feed the World’s Soil and sustainability unit and chemical tests from the Water quality unit to test samples they brought from home.

Williams said that providing their own sample increased their interest and investment in the lesson. “They were really excited to see if what they hypothesized about their samples were correct. The students were expected to do background research on runoff and water quality before doing the lab or picking their samples. During the soil sample testing they couldn’t believe how well some of the soils held up. They got different samples from soybean fields, corn fields, pasture, yards, gardens and used potting soil as a control. This was extremely effective because we performed the lab in the fall before harvesting. Students knew some of the soil would hold up better than others, but they were amazed at how little they fell apart thanks to the no till policy that most farms adhere to.”

WIlliams found that these activities were great for explaining conservation efforts and effectiveness of the modern farmer. Her students were amazed by how much they didn’t know about surrounding farm lands.

Attending the 2-day Feed the World workshop provided these lessons to Williams, and she found them useful in teaching her students about how modern farming works and how many jobs in Ohio are available to them. She said, “They found a great interest in agriscience and some of the students wanted to start researching possible careers. As a teacher, this is one of the most rewarding experiences—seeing your students find a passion for science in a field that will help feed the world.”

Watch for more great workshops on our website.