Posts Tagged: STEM
My name is Valentina Evans, and I am a new volunteer at the UC Hopland Research and Extension Center. My partners Benjamin Evans, and Zane Petersen have chosen to volunteer with me at the HREC for our senior project at Ukiah High School. A few weeks ago on the twenty-first of December we volunteered to help two researchers, Paulo who studied at UC Santa Cruz, and Wyath, who is still studying at Humboldt State University, to plant acorns from different ecosystems, and analyze how they will adapt to conditions with more water, less water, more sunlight or a lack of sunlight. This study is part of Dr. Blair McLaughin's study from the Zavaleta Lab at UC Santa Cruz.
We started off by digging holes about 1 foot deep and laying a thin square piece of chicken wire at the bottom of the holes to prevent gophers from entering and eating the acorns. We then took a circular strip of chicken wire and placed it on top of the flattened piece at the bottom. With the second strip of chicken wire standing horizontal, we continued by covering the holes with the same dirt we originally dug out. Now with the metal secured in place, Paulo came around and gently placed the acorns inside of the holes. The hands-on experience was extremely fascinating, not to mention peaceful. The view at the top of the hill was breathtaking, and the weather was just perfect. The entire process was tiring, but having had the opportunity to participate in a lab/research project made the whole experience worth it.
Although the project will not produce any data until the acorns sprout, the idea behind the project is captivating. Paulo and Wyath are studying the growth of oak trees from all sorts of climates, locations, and ecosystems. Some of the acorns are from northern California and others from way down in southern California. They will be monitoring the water levels, and amount of sunlight the oak trees will receive, all in hopes to see how the oak trees will adapt to different changes in their environments. Seeing as how I want to major in Biological Sciences in college, this experience was exceptionally informative for me and has taught me how critical patience, effort and time are in order to successfully accomplish a lab and receive the most accurate facts. I am very grateful to have been able to participate in this ongoing project and am looking forward to continuing to be a part of the younger generation who can benefit from having the Hopland Research and Extension Center available to us, to further our knowledge about the environment.
UC ANR Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center is providing fun learning opportunities to Fresno Unified School District 4th grade students and W.E.B. DuBois & Carter G. Woodson Public Charter Schools' students.
The teachers get lesson plans on experimental design and integrated pest management strategies prior to the students coming for their field trip. Each field trip has a tour where students learn about different crops, issues, and experimental designs. After the field trip, the students learn about how UC helps people and the environment. They are also exposed to “the more you learn, the more you earn” concept and given examples of great local STEM related career opportunities.
Elementary students finish their visit with role playing scenarios that demonstrate the importance of integrated pest management strategies, as well as why pesticide runoff should be prevented.
High school students finish their visit with more advanced experimental activities including a tour of the post-harvest lab and hands-on study of fruit samples using refractometer, penetrometer, and sensory evaluation techniques.
Elementary students learning about IPM strategies in role playing scenarios at Kearney.
UCCE/HAREC Director Christopher Smith and HAREC Education Outreach Coordinator, Susana Bruzzone-Miller participated in the 2nd Annual Agriculture Career Fair hosted by the Ventura County Agriculture Museum in Santa Paula. Over 80 Ventura County high...