Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

April 30, 2013

Greenup High has agriscience fair

Students learn to use scientific method to quantify their results

LLOYD — The sea of tri-fold poster boards was the same.

The handful of judges gazing thoughtfully at the boards and taking notes were the same.

The stapled reports on the tables beside each exhibit were the same.

In short, the setup in the Greenup County High School cafeteria Tuesday was no different from any other science fair in the land, except for one thing: each of the exhibits was based on an agricultural science issue.

The FFA agriscience fair drove home one central point, according to ag teacher Laura Murphy: “Agriculture is science. From the soil on up, whether you’re talking about plants or animals, it’s all science-based. All agriculturalists are scientists.”

That is why she insisted students validate their entries by using the scientific method — stating a hypothesis and then confirm it by testing.

Students also performed research, did experiments and wrote reports summing up their findings.

They could choose projects relating to animals, crops, the environment, food products, agricultural equipment and social systems — all crucial components of the agricultural world.

Sophomore Kayla Leadingham, for instance, worked with pigs to learn whether hand-feeding them marshmallows would be an effective training method.

Kasey Baldridge, also a sophomore, explored types of soil and their suitability for sustaining earthworms.

Each set up an experiment, then observed and analyzed their findings, Leadingham by checking daily for progress in attracting her pigs to the marshmallows and Baldridge by watching her worms to determine which soil type they crawled into.

Stormy Stamper, a junior, chose a social science approach to investigate the benefits of vegetarianism. She interviewed vegetarians and examined medical research on meatless diets.

Josh Sturgill, one of the judges and a computer science teacher at Greenup County, said the task was similar to other nonagriculture-based science fairs he has judged. “You are always looking for the same things, whether students follow the scientific method,” he said.

Science projects can have practical value, according to Emily Billups, a sophomore who studied the growth rate of goats. Billups, who raises Boer goats, compared the growth rates of children fed with cow’s milk, a synthetic milk substitute and their own mothers’ milk.

She found mother’s milk resulted in the fastest rate and the biggest goat, knowledge she said will help her with future animals.

The students learned something about themselves and their agricultural heritage as well. “People think of farmers as poor rednecks, but farms bring everything from the clothes we wear to the food we eat,” Baldridge said.

That may be the most important insight to come out of the fair, according to Murphy, especially for students who plan agriculture-based careers. “They should value agriculture. It’s not a career to be ashamed of. They have value. They are scientists.”

MIKE JAMES can be reached at mjames@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2652.

Text Only
Local News
  • State’s longest trail system turns 35

    The Sheltowee Trace was officially dedicated as part of the National Recreation Trail system in 1979. After 35 years, the trail remains Kentucky’s longest distance trail, estimated at 307 miles.

    July 21, 2014

  • Pancake releases new album

    The top of the Sky Tower in downtown Ashland was booming Saturday night with music from Larry Pancake’s new album “Fair Weather Friend.”

    July 21, 2014

  • Telephone scammer fleeces man of $5,000

    A telephone scammer claimed another area victim when a Williams Avenue man paid $5,000 after the con artist told him he had won a sweepstakes but had to pay taxes on the prize money before collecting it, according to Ashland Police Department reports.

    July 21, 2014

  • Murder defendant pleads guilty on lesser charge, sentenced to 8 years

    One of four charged with murder in a 2008 double killing pleaded guilty to a lesser charge Monday just before his trial was to start.

    July 21, 2014

  • MIA Rush Marine to rest in Arlington

    Finding Dottie McCoy’s uncle after 71 years was the biggest part of the struggle.

    July 21, 2014

  • Morehead gets Trail Town status

    It has been two and a half years in the making and it happens today.
    Morehead will officially be designated a Kentucky Trail Town following Dawson Springs and Livingston.

    July 21, 2014

  • Fallsburg’s traditional haunt attracts unique talents

    Brian Cassidy said there is no substitute for individual talent while tackling tasks ranging from sculpting a massive hillbilly to inventing paintball gun brackets capable of withstanding the pressures caused by an incoming zombie attack.

    July 21, 2014

  • Local in brief: 7/22/14

    The Kentucky Interagency Coordination Center on Sunday mobilized two fire crews to assist with firefighting efforts in the western United States.

    July 21, 2014

  • marine3.jpg MIA Rush Marine to rest in Arlington

    Finding Dottie McCoy’s uncle after 71 years was the biggest part of the struggle.

    July 21, 2014 3 Photos

  • 0722burger2.JPG TIM PRESTON: Burgers for Boyd County bragging rights

    Looking at Saturday morning’s rainy skies, I assumed my duties as a judge for the first tailgate and burger grilling competition at the Boyd County Fairgrounds would be canceled.

    July 21, 2014 3 Photos

Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
AP Video
UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Obama Voices Concern About Casualties in Mideast Diplomacy Intensifies Amid Mounting Gaza Toll AP Exclusive: American Beaten in Israel Speaks Obama Protects Gay, Transgender Workers Raw: Gaza Rescuers Search Rubble for Survivors Raw: International Team Inspects MH17 Bodies Raw: 25 Family Members Killed in Gaza Airstrike US Teen Beaten in Mideast Talks About Ordeal 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism Native American Teens Get Taste of College Legendary Actor James Garner Dies Ukraine Rebels: Black Boxes Will Be Returned Recording May Show Attempt at Crash Cover-up
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP basketball
SEC Zone