The Ohio Soybean Council (OSC) and soybean checkoff is pleased to announce that science instructor Rachel Sanders and social studies instructor Jamie Lesesky and their classes at the Global Impact STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Academy in Springfield were named the recipients of OSC’s first GrowNextGen Photo and Video Contest. In addition, Agriculture instructor Laura Deehr of Carrollton High School in Carrollton was awarded an iPad for winning the 2014 Spring GrowNextGen Membership Drive Drawing.
OSC launched the website, GrowNextGen.org to provide Ohio’s agriscience and bioscience teachers with direct access to industry partners and a wide array of relevant soybean-related classroom materials, career videos, interactive e-learning courses and student research opportunities.
“More than 400 teachers, industry partners and students have profiles on GrowNextGen, making it the ideal place for learning and collaboration to occur around the topics of soybean production and agriculture,” said Patrick Knouff, OSC chairman and soybean farmer from Shelby County.
The contest challenged teachers and students to use photos or videos in a creative way to tell the story of how using the site impacted their learning over the course of the 2013-2014 school year.
Sanders, Lesesky and their students used both photos and video to demonstrate the impact of a series of “Women in STEM” events they hosted for local middle school students. Their female students used curriculum and resources from the site “to foster a unique interest in learning how agriculture and STEM go together.”
“By becoming members of GrowNextGen.org, the students gained background knowledge on soybeans, biotechnology, bioproducts, plant tissue culture procedures, aseptic techniques and lab safety skills,” Sanders said.
The students then used that knowledge to create and host four “Women in STEM” events for middle school females.
As this year’s recipient, Sanders, Lesesky and their classes will receive a prize of $1,000. Sanders said they plan to use the funds to purchase additional video equipment that the entire school can use.
Deehr, who recently joined the GrowNextGen network, teaches Ag Industrial Power, Structural Engineering, Animal Science, Natural Resources and Plant Science for students in grades 10-12. She plans to use the resources on GrowNextGen in her Plant Science course before the end of the school year. She also hopes to make the resources a large part of her curriculum for the 2014-2015 school year.