Have you ever wondered how meat and poultry are made? Animal husbandry is a type of agriculture where farmers raise animals like cattle and chicken to make beef, poultry, eggs, cheese, and milk. Raising animals is hard work and involves quite a bit of science. For example, farmers who raise cattle, also known as ranchers, breed all kinds of cattle for meat and dairy consumption. There are around 250 recognized cattle breeds worldwide, and ranchers need to understand the role genetics plays in managing all these different breeds.
Farmers also have to create sustainable ecosystems between their animals, similar to how ecosystems work in the wild. On sustainable farms, for example, cows and chickens coexist in a symbiotic relationship. The cows graze the prairie, eating the grass as they go, then the hens come along and eat the fly larvae out in their manure. This helps the manure fertilize the grass so cows have more to eat in the future, and also reduces the presence of horn flies, which can be harmful to the cows.
Want your students to learn the science of farming? “On the Farm STEM” brings farming to the classroom
Middle and high school students can learn all about modern animal husbandry through a new program called “On The Farm STEM,” which brings farming into the classroom.
The free STEM-based curriculum from the American Farm Bureau, a group that represents American agriculture businesses, aims to teach students about the relationship between science and farming and prepare them for future careers in the industry, according to AgriNews.
Through the program, middle school students learn about how farmers make their farms sustainable, and high school students learn about the role genetics plays in breeding cattle. Teachers give kids control of the classroom through a series of lesson plans called Storylines, which combine science education and agriculture and use Next Generation Science Standards. The program also includes farm tours in Nashville, Tennessee and professional development webinars.
Call for Pre-University STEM Grant Applications
Do you have an idea for a STEM program that you want to implement or an innovative idea to expand an existing STEM program and lack the funds to make it happen?
Consider applying for an IEEE Pre-University STEM Grant to turn an idea into a reality. The new IEEE Volunteers STEM Outreach grants program is launching May 15 and will be accepting applications from May 15 – July 1, 2021.
Any IEEE member can apply for a grant with the endorsement of an IEEE organizational unit. The grant funding is for the implementation of an IEEE pre-university program. IEEE organizational units can receive up to $2000 US dollars.