Teacher Rachel Sanders with students in the ag biotech class at the Global Impact STEM Academy.

March 2016 Our Ohio Teacher’s Lounge: Teacher resources

Our Ohio Teacher’s Lounge is a periodic e-newsletter that aggregates food and farming related materials for teachers or those working on educational initiatives. You can see the most recent issue and subscribe to receive these emails.


2016 First Peas to the Table Contest
What do peas and crowns have in common? American Farm Bureau Foundation’s First Peas to the Table Contest! The First Peas to the Table is the winner of the 2016 American Farm Bureau Ag Foundation Book of the Year.

Contest: Be the student team that grows the greatest amount of peas (measured in cups) using no more than 20 pea seeds during the official contest period.

When: March 1, 2016 – May 16, 2016 Guidelines

Prize: A visit from Miss America 2016 Betty Cantrell to your school or community! (Who happens to wear a crown!)

Goal: Help students understand the importance of healthy foods and agriculture in their everyday lives, and to increase their understanding of how plants grow.

Grades are K-5 invited to participate!


We Grow in Ohio
Ohio Farm Bureau has updated the “We Grow in Ohio” coloring books, and they are available now to order for  35 cents each. The order number is 26770 and they can be ordered through county Farm Bureau offices.


Students’ career exploration journey starts here
GrowNextGen has done the legwork to gather career resources, and now teachers can help students explore and make career plans for a bright future.

Educators can now help students take charge of their futures with a new Explore a Career website feature. These resources, sponsored by the Ohio Soybean Council, will make it easy for students to learn about these career areas related to agriculture and the jobs associated with them.

Students start their journey by taking the Interest Survey. Based on those results, they can explore a variety of career areas. Each career area has a landing page and discussion guide, with classroom activities and extensive information about that area provided right there within the webpage.


Ag Biotech Academy: a great summer workshop
The Ag Biotech Academy, a unique experience for educators, will be held in Springfield July 25 and 26. How can ag biotechnology contribute to food security? Learn about the latest seed research, the impact of environmental issues and sustainability, biology/chemistry labs, industry experts and tours, and get free classroom materials. Hotel and food costs are covered by the Ohio Soybean Council & DuPont Pioneer. Ashland graduate credit is available.

Brian Badenhop, an Environmental Science, Biology, and Science and Society teacher at Ohio Hi-Point Career Center, attended last year and shared his experience: “I remember walking into the conference wondering how I could incorporate the ideas of agriculture into my curriculum. How could I reach my students who have farming backgrounds, as well as those that don’t? The Ag Biotech Academy helped me to solve that problem. GMO is a buzzword that all students know, but they don’t necessarily know what it means for food security. I now have the tools to answer their questions and to help make students informed science citizens.”  Register.


Are you ready for spring?
Whether you’re still seeing snow or you’re beginning to experience some sunshine again, spring is right around the corner. March is a great time of the year to lay out out your spring plans. Have you always wanted to plant a garden? Do your students love hands-on activities? My American Farm games, lessons and activities are just what you need to enter the spring season right. Below are some resources hand-picked to get you started.

The Great Seed Search
Social Science, Science
Grades 3 – 5

That’s Life!
Grades 3 – 5

Seed Starter
Grades 3 – 5

Window Wheatgrass
Science, Math
Pre-K – Kindergarten


‘Hey, where’d you get the cool fuel tester?’
The people who attended the OCMP workshop at Science Education Council of Ohio this year all walked away with a free kit! The Ohio Corn Marketing Program is committed to helping teachers provide hands-on science learning. Heather Bryan and Jane Hunt presented “Go Green! Renewable Ethanol Makes the Difference!” showing how to use the engineering design process to create ethanol in the classroom. Through this lesson, students learn about how renewable fuels provide cleaner air, energy security, and save water.  Attendees received curricula and supplies for their classroom.

Araina Johnson teaches Science and Society and Anatomy and Physiology at Ohio Hi-Point Career Center. She said, “The statistics really put the concept into perspective and made it clear why renewable ethanol should be taught/explored.” Johnson plans to do the activity with her students “so they can see how easy it is to collect ethanol through renewable sources. I will also share the statistics with the students to drive home the importance of the issue.”

There are two Feed the World workshops offered this summer, one in the Cleveland area and one in Columbus. Register now so you can be inspired and equipped for teaching!