SGTC participates in GYSTC Science Day at Jimmy Carter Boyhood Farm

Published 7:35 pm Monday, April 18, 2022

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From Staff Reports


AMERICUS – South Georgia Technical College participated in the Chattahoochee Flint Georgia Youth Science and Technology Center’s (GYSTC) Science on the Farm Day at Jimmy Carter’s Boyhood Farm outside of Plains recently.

The day was filled with opportunities for the approximately 200 sixth through eighth graders from Dooly County, Southland Academy and Quitman County to learn about the science of farming. Sixteen different options were offered from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., for potential young farmers to submerge themselves in one of the largest industries in Georgia. The event was coordinated by Emily Strickland, GYSTC Regional Coordinator for the Chattahoochee Flint area.

Agriculture and agribusiness have a $74 billion economic impact on the state’s economy and the GYSTC Science Day was designed to share with middle schoolers some of the agricultural related businesses available in Georgia.

South Georgia Technical College provide bags to each of the students attending and then Welding Instructor Ted Eschmann, John Deere Agricultural Technology Instructor Matthew Burks, Industrial Maintenance and Electrical Systems Instructor Patrick Owen, Diesel Instructor Chase Shannon and Precision Manufacturing Instructor Chad Brown joined Academic Dean Dr. David Finley and Institutional Effectiveness and Grants Coordinator Nancy Fitzgerald with creating activities showcasing their program areas and how important these fields are to agriculture and to Georgia.

SGTC set up a trailer with welding and excavator simulators to let students try their hands at welding as well as working with an excavator.  Academic Dean and former Culinary Arts Instructor Dr. David Finley did a cooking demonstrator with corn to show students how farm to table culinary arts is very important.

Industrial Maintenance and Electrical Systems instructor Patrick Owen set up solar panels to show students how solar is generating energy on farms and other agribusinesses and then John Deere Agriculture Technology Instructor Matthew Burks had a small tractor to show students how technology in agriculture has changed over the years.

“This event was geared around industry and learning,” said Emily Strickland who created the curriculum for the event.  “We wanted students to be aware of what agribusiness is all about and hope we were able to light some fires of interest to keep Georgia’s number one industry rolling along.”

Working out of an “innovating grant” Emily is attempting to reach females and minority populations in particular. She does this in a very hands-on interactive way. She utilizes students as well as adults to educate. There were varied styles of learning going on for this event. Some included scavenger hunts in which a student would seek out information on the crops grown in the field, knowing which sex of a bird has the most vibrant colors, what a windmill was utilized for and other intellectual quests. There were several stations where a student could learn about different aspects of farming, water testing, commodities, welding, irrigation, minerals and even tractors.