Supporting Programming

National 4‑H Council partnered with the United Soybean Board (USB) and  state 4‑H programs to conduct AgriScience/Biotechnology programs in urban areas.  In addition to providing an introduction to AgriScience/Biotechnology, youth learned concepts such as Agricultural Literacy, Global Food Security, Sustainability, and about the variety of career paths associated with the field.

As a result of this programming, it was evident that a guide for professionals and volunteers to deliver these programs was needed in order to increase the potential to reach more youth.

The following presentations and facilitator’s guide were developed with funding from the United Soybean Board (USB).  These materials provide substantive science-based foundational knowledge of agriscience/biotechnology through the use of presentations, discussions and hands-on activities.

Facilitators gain a better understanding of agriscience/biotechnology, and be able to use the modules and facilitator guide to train other professionals and volunteers so that they will be equipped to facilitate youth programming.

Resources

Teens Teaching Youth AgriScience/Biotechnology

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AgriScience/BioTech PowerPoint 1

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AgriScience/BioTech PowerPoint 2

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AgriScience/BioTech PowerPoint 3

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Facilitator Guide

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Biotechnology Activities

The science of biotechnology is a discipline that is growing in importance. As populations increase, communities are looking to produce healthy, plentiful and environmentally responsible products.

Scientists and engineers are constantly experimenting and using technology to invent new bio-based products. In this activity, use your innovation skills to learn about soy science, and design products that utilize soy protein to create a new bio-based material.

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In this activity, learn about the harvest and production of soy-based inks. Try your hand at the art and technology of printing and see how oil and water mix.

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What keeps chocolate smooth and creamy? What chemical balance allows NesQuik® to blend so quickly? This activity allows you to discover how science is used in food technology to make products more stable and enjoyable for consumption.

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Although about 95% of all the plastic in the world started out as crude oil, many plants like potatoes, soybeans and wheat are used to make plastic as well. In this activity, test your chemistry skills by making bioplastic with corn ingredients.

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Biofuels are made from renewable materials like plants. Today, energy crop innovation is continuing to develop sources of sustainable biofuels. Now you can experiment to see how much energy can be produced from a plant-based source.

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While biochemists use chemistry principles to improve our soaps, biotechnologists work to develop plant traits that will improve the fatty acids for use in soaps, food and other industrial products. Try an easy melt-and-pour recipe to make soap that meets your own consumer standards.

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When farmers and industrial companies work together to make bioproducts, the consumer wins; but how do everyday farmers make their products “green”? In this activity, choose a bio-based product, find the agriculture ingredient, create a consumer test, and report on your results.

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Fats get a bad rap when it comes to the food we eat, so scientists are playing with plants to reduce the amount of trans fat in the foods we enjoy. Learn how to explore the types of fats you eat, monitor the amount of fat you consume in a day, and discover the role fats play in making food taste better.

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Business and Economics

Until the Industrial Revolution, the U.S. economy was mainly focused on agricultural production. Since then, new technology and increased production capacity have altered the size and composition of the U.S. agricultural work force. Today, farming remains important to the economy because of its connection to a variety of industries, and agriculture-based technology holds promise for improving human well-being throughout the world.
Through this curriculum youth will understand the factors of production of land, labor, capital, and entrepreneurship as well as the concerns of producers and consumers.

Transportation plays an important role in agriculture, whether freight transportation or sending products across the water on a barge, moving cargo requires a combination of engineering and ingenuity. In this activity, learn about sustainable transportation design by building your own unsinkable cargo boat.

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With billions of eggs being produced every year, agricultural, environmental, and mechanical engineer farmers must work to develop a means to collect and transport them safely. In this activity, design a solution to catch a single egg, and then test the prototype of your design.

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