School Garden

May 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.

Virtual Field Trips
No muddy boots. No transportation. No permission slips. No problem. With just a gmail address, webcam and solid internet connection, classrooms throughout Ohio, and soon throughout the Midwest, are being turned into virtual pig farms. Ohio Pork Council invites your students to join it for a virtual field trip to a pig farm on May 6 at 10 a.m. or May 10 at 1:30 p.m.

‘Ag is Cool’ Creative Expressions Contest
The Ohio Department of Agriculture is accepting entries for the 2016 “Agriculture is Cool!” Creative Expressions contest. Children enrolled in school or home schooled in Ohio during the 2015-2016 academic year have until June 6 to capture their personal interpretation of why Ohio agriculture is cool for their chance to win prizes, including tickets to the Ohio State Fair. “Ag is Cool!” entries can include an original video, photograph, drawing or painting. Winners of the art contest will be recognized by the governor’s office and other state officials at the Ohio State Fair July 27. Watch an Ag is Cool video to learn more.

Inner city science with Feed the World materials
Feed the World’s Jeremy Grove, an agriscience teacher at East Technical High School in Cleveland, attended the Feed the World workshop.

“I am utilizing the Feed the World curriculum specifically with my 7th grade class and I have pulled lessons to teach with my Animal & Plant Science courses at the high school level. We have completed the pGLO Bacterial Transformation lab and we are preparing to conduct the ethanol labs once I receive a shipment of supplies.

“Having the Feed the World curriculum has been extremely helpful in deciding a pathway to teach my 7th grade classes. Though the students enjoy some parts of the lessons and labs, they were not expecting to conduct math. ‘Mr. Grove, you’re not the math teacher; why are we doing this?’ Questions like this have led to conversations about the importance of STEM in all of agriculture.”

Feed the World workshops help educators connect the classroom with the real world and science with agriculture.

School Garden Photo Contest
Schools and other K-12 programs can grow cold, hard cash for their school gardens in 2016. The United Nations declared 2016 as the International Year of Pulses. What’s a pulse? Think dry beans, peas and lentils. As part of the celebration, the Crop Science Society of America is sponsoring an IYP School Garden Photo Contest for educators.

Prizes are $300 first place, $150 second place, $100 third place. Three honorable mentions will receive $50 each.

Soybean ink and salad dressing soy ink lesson

Grow Next Gen teacher leaders Abby Snyder and Colin Day recently participated in Science Night for Geneva City School District in New York. They saw over 350 people and presented a soy lecithin ink lesson, connecting it to the principle of emulsification. Emulsification relates to food processing, so salad dressing was also involved. Soybeans are amazingly versatile!

Typical printing inks contain petroleum, a non-renewable resource. To make soy ink, soybean oil is slightly refined and then blended with pigment, resins and waxes. Soybean oil is naturally clearer than petroleum oils, making it easier to obtain brightly colored ink. In addition to a brighter ink, printers report that they need less ink to print the same amount of paper when compared to petroleum inks.

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Lynn Snyder 

Lynn Snyder is senior director of communications for Ohio Farm Bureau.