Ahmed Yousef and Jen Perry are researching ways to improve the safety and quality of food.

Help Wanted

Student Activity based on the Our Ohio article “Help Wanted” featured in the November/December 2012 issue.

Agriculture and Environmental Systems Career Field Standards (High School exploration of Career Field Technical Standards and Opportunities)
Students will explore career “fields (that) provide the framework for an Ohio career field initiative that seeks to foster the educational shift needed to respond to the needs of a rapidly changing global environment.  A career field is a `grouping of occupations and broad industries based on commonalities.’ Career fields are the basis for developing both broad and specialized technical content standards that serve as a framework for curriculum, instruction, assessment and program design, addressing the needs of an entire industry and business sector. Ohio’s 16 career fields align with national efforts to broaden career-technical education, integrate career-technical education with academic study and reflect the workforce needs of today and tomorrow.”  

(Career-Tech Content Standards; Agriculture and Environmental Systems, 2008)

High School Student Discussion points

  • Ask students to read the article titled “Help Wanted.”
  • **Ask students to identify which agriculture or environmental field goes with each section of this article. (ex. High Tech Opportunities would go along with the Food Science Career-Tech field)
  1. Explain why the author started this article by introducing a student who chose to major in animal science in college?
  2. What is her background?
  3. What did she study in her animal sciences classes?
  4. Do you think it is a good paragraph to encourage students to consider working in the field of agriculture?  Explain.
  5. How do most high school students decide to pursue a certain career or job?
  6. What should a student consider when choosing a career path?  (ex. interests, salary)
  7. Where do students get information about what different careers are all about?
  8. What choices are available in high school that allow students to explore careers?
  9. Summarize the next section of the article, “High Tech Opportunities.”
  10. What do you think about when you hear the word agriculture?
  11. Are you surprised that food science and food safety are part of the agriculture industry?
  12. After reading the article, would you consider technology to be a large part of the agriculture field?
  13. Explain what types of science are used in this career path, according to the article.
  14. How important is safe food to you? How do food providers keep food safe for consumers?  Could you be part of an industry that is responsible for safe food?
  15. Researcher Jen Perry states, “Food science has job security because people eat everyday and always will.”  Do you agree? 
  16. How important will job security be to you when you enter the work force?

Impact and Discovery

  1. What does Dr. Lee study in his lab? 
  2. How could his research impact what people buy in the grocery store?
  3. How does his animal science degree relate to the medical field?

Plant Puzzles

  1. Do you think it is important to research plant disease?
  2. Describe why Nancy Taylor and Rob Fisher consider themselves puzzle solvers.  What problems are they solving? 
  3. How do problems with plants effect what we eat?
  4. Do you know anyone who works in the agriculture industry? What do they do?
  5. Agriculture and Environmental Systems Career paths include the following titles. Describe what jobs you think would fall under each field:
  • Animal Science
  • Biotechnology
  • Business Operations
  • Engineering
  • Environmental Science
  • Food Science
  • Plant Science

 Finding Career Opportunities

  1. What are good action steps to finding out about different careers? 
  2. Where does one go to be educated for these career opportunities?
  3. Did this article persuade you to look into careers in food and/or agriculture? Why or why not?
  4. Why is “help wanted?”

More Exploration

  1. What is the history of agriculture and state universities? Why do some universities still have agriculture in its name? (Ohio State example)
  2. What Ohio colleges or universities offer majors in agriculture?
  3. Can you determine that agriculture is of utmost importance in our society?
  4. Search “importance of agriculture” on the Internet. What can be found?
  5. Do an internet search using the search words “careers in agriculture.” What sites popped up? What possibilities are there?
  6. How do you come into contact with people who work in agriculture?
  7. Ask your high school guidance counselor about career choices and services.
  8. Visit the Ohio Department of Education website. Click on Career Tech, then Agriculture and Environmental Systems to explore the jobs and careers for those with this agricultural training.

This student activity was prepared by Camille Kopczewski, who is coordinator of religious education at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Grove City. She is a former sixth grade social studies teacher for South-Western City Schools. She has undergraduate and graduate degrees in education.