The Associated Press
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. — A new approach to teaching high school students about the high-tech world of farming will get a test run this summer.
Leaf-Chronicle (http://leafne.ws/IBxGJY) reports that the three-day
course called "Conception to Consumption" will be offered to students
involved in the Clarksville-Montgomery County School System's Science,
Technology, Engineering and Math program. Students will spend most of
their class time on a farm.
It is one of
the first times that the University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension
Agency has partnered with a school system to provide a hands-on approach
that integrates STEM and agriculture.
B.J Worthington, chief
academic officer for the school system, says the purpose is to show the
students how Science, Technology, Engineering and Math connect with
"Understanding the role agriculture plays in the
global economy is extremely important," he said. "We are trying to help
them understand as the population grows, agricultural land will
decrease. You have to use the sciences and technology and make it more
efficient in the world of agriculture."
Earlier this month, students at the STEM Academy at Kenwood high school visited Baggett farm in Oak Plains to find out a little about what the course will entail.
Bartee, Montgomery County director at the University of Tennessee
Agriculture Extension Office, said it was exciting to see the reactions
of the students as they learned different things, including how DNA
technology is used to determine beef quality.
"At the Baggett farm,
everybody really got into looking at the technology the farmer used,"
Bartee said. "I came away with a real good feeling of what the STEM
Academy is doing. The students were brilliant and asked the speaker
intelligent questions. It was unbelievable."
The session that runs
June 19-21 will be near the end of wheat harvest, so students can see
how farmers use GPS to harvest and replant, he said.
"I hope they
take away the appreciation for the technology they are learning and how
it can be used to help in agriculture and help us feed the world in a
population that's growing rapidly," Bartee said. "We are looking at
technology on a daily basis. They can take what they learn here and
"The students are brilliant. We would be happy to have them in agriculture and help us learn how to feed the world in 2050."