Coordinate a state-based science competition which engages primary and secondary school students in experimental design and research methodology using agriculture as the teaching platform. There was a need for a program to deliver agricultural concepts in mainstream subjects, such as science, which helped engage students in how science is used to improve food production.
AgC, through its Food and Fibre Education SA project, developed and delivered a competition which teaches students about experimental design and research methodology using agricultural examples. The AgC team delivered a curriculum-linked workbook and presentation to teach research methodology, including developing a hypothesis, method and analysing results. Students are then mentored to complete their own science investigation on a topic of choice, with their results presented as a research poster.
Each year AgC works with about 800 students at 15 partner schools teaching agricultural science, the role of science in sustainable food production and research methodology and experimental design. Students are mentored to complete their own research and present their results in a poster which is judged at an in-school science fair competition. The top five from each class are selected to move through to the Grand Final, held at the Royal Adelaide Show. Around 120 students then compete for the sought-after blue ribbon and cash prizes. Posters are judged by industry representatives with students further mentored on careers in ag science. This project is in its sixth year with AgC in 2020 and is successfully encouraging students to consider ag careers.