Biology and Sustainable Agriculture This one year course, organized into for major units, integrates biological science practices and knowledge into the practice of sustainable agriculture. Unit one addresses the question, What is sustainable agriculture? Unit two, How does sustainable agriculture fit into our environment? Unit three, What molecular biology principles guide sustainable agriculture? Unit four, How do we make decisions to maximize sustainable agricultural practices within a functioning ecosystem? Within each unit, specific life science principles integrate with agricultural principles, as students gain knowledge of how the two disciplines inform each other, culminating in the development of a sustainable farm model and portfolio of supporting student research.
Chemistry and Agriscience This course explores the physical and chemical nature of soil as well as the relationships between soil, plants, animals and agricultural practices. Students examine properties of soil and land and their connections to plant and animal production. Using knowledge of scientific protocols as well as course content, students develop an Agriscience research program to be conducted throughout the first semester of the course. To complete that whole project each student will investigate and test an Agriscience research question by formulating a scientific question related to the course content, formulating a hypothesis based on related research, conducting an experiment to test the hypothesis, collecting quantitative data, and forming a conclusion based on analysis of the data. The result of this research program is an in depth research and experimentation paper that is technically written, based on scientific protocol, and cited using APA formatting. Additionally, students develop and present a capstone soil management plan for agricultural producers, demonstrating their knowledge of the soil chemistry content learned throughout the course. Throughout the course, students are graded on participation in intracurricular FFA activities as well as the development and maintenance of an ongoing Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) program.