To Spray or Not to Spray?

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Last week (11/14-11/18) saw the beginning of Earth Science's latest project. As part of our involvement with the North Carolina New Schools Project, most CMA freshman will be participating in a cross-curricular, STEM project. The intent of the project is for students to engage a real-world topic through the lens of multiple classes. Each student will produce a website that address the ultimate question of, "How do our food and health choice affect our world?" In Earth and Environmental Science we are looking at the differences between conventional and organic agriculture. Each student will be producing a set of Glogsters or Prezis addressing the matter.

Our first report comes from Junior Alesia Craig. Ms. Craig writes:

This week we started on a new unit relating to organic and conventional farming. The first day we finished up the previous unit, turning in our “Quakes & Lava” project. On the second day we started a project called “To Spray or Not to Spray” and that day consisted of research of five characteristics of each type of agriculture. Also, the notes and information we gathered were to be creatively put on a Prezi or Glogster presentation. Some of the research for the first day included the types of crops and animals raised in the 1800s, the methods used to fertilize crops and control pest in the 1800s, how crops and animals are raised now, what organic farming is, and how modern and organic farming is different. On day 3 we focused on finding research containing the environmental impacts of each type of agriculture. This included researching pesticides, fertilizer, modern crops, and modern irrigations affect on the Earth. Our Prezi or Glogster was to contain this research by the end of this day. On day 4 we first analyzed an article on MRSA-a staph bacterial infection that’s antibiotic resistant- the article was titled “Superbugs, Agricultural Antibiotics, and Farm-Worker Infections:  A New Study Connects the Dots”. Then we completed the day with more research for the project. This day’s research consisted of finding the health benefits and impacts of each type of agriculture. This informational, as well, was to be put onto out Prezi or Glogster presentation. The last and final day of the week we started off class with two videos relating to conventional and organic farming. One of the videos specifically focused on the bias attitude someone who favors organic farming would have. The video also briefly gave a lesson on how our food has a hidden cost and we only pay a small proportion of it in the grocery stores. To finish up the class period we continued researching for the project and collected additional information to post on our Prezi’s or Glogster’s.

Freshman Nikki Long adds:

Last week (11/14- 11/18) the students had a fairly easy week. For the past week we have been focusing on Organic farming Vs. Conventional farming.

Monday (11/14) : The students were asked to make 2 Glogster’s or 2 Prezi’s on which farming was better Organic or conventional.

Tuesday (11/15) : We wasted no time getting to work. We had a group discussion about effects of each farming type and then worked on our projects in class.

Wednesday (11/16) : We worked on our projects again and took notes on each of the farming types.

Thursday (11/17) : We watched a cool video clip that was fun to watch but also gave plenty of information that we used for our projects and then worked on our projects.

Friday (11/18) : We came in and discussed what we had learned from our weeks worth of research and then for the last part of class we had more time to finish up our projects.

This week taught us plenty about organic and conventional farming and our projects should all be great!

Lauren Gunneson, a second period student contributes the following: 

This week in class we learned about organic and conventional agriculture. We learned how conventional and organic affects the environment. For conventional it affects the environment much more than organic does. We learned how pesticides and other chemicals could affect human health. Same as the affects on the environment, conventional has many more negative affects than organic. Basically all week we learned and researched which type of agriculture is better for the earth and the humans living on it. Making either a Glogster or a Prezi to represent conventional and organic agriculture.