Lancaster farming. (Lancaster, Pa., etc.) 1955-current, May 23, 1998, Image 20

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

    A2O-Lancaster Farming, Saturday, May 23, 1998
innovative curriculum to boost
student enthusiasm and inter
est in the burgeoning field of
biotechnology has been
launched through a partnership
involving National 4-H Council,
Monsanto Corporation, and
Pioneer Hi-Bred International.
The new curriculum, called
"Fields of Genes, Making Sense
of Biotechnology,” is intended for
students in Kindergarten
through the 12th grade.
The 96-page leaders' guide is
designed to help elementary and
high school teachers provide
their students with a basic
understanding to the biotech
nology field today as well as its
future direction.
"We are concerned about con
tinuing and recent reports
which show that only a small
percentage of Americans have a
grasp of basic scientific ideas,"
said Dick Sauer, president and
CEO of National 4-H Council.
"We hope this new curricu
lum will help make science and
agriculture come alive for
youngsters across the country.
Programs such as Fields of
Genes can help American stu
dents become more 'science liter
ate,’ while also allowing them to
better understand the impact of
science on the food that they eat
(717) 653-4023
Pre-Engineered Buildings
Lifetime Design Warranty
Dairy *LESTER Equine
Self-Storage Commerical
4-H Program Offers Biotechnology Curriculum
and the world in which they
"Biotechnology is now an
accepted part of agriculture in
the United States, and gradual
ly is being adopted by farmers in
other parts of the world, because
it provides wonderful tools to
help feed a growing world popu
lation better food grown in a
more sustainable way," said
Arnold W. Donald, senior vice
president, Monsanto Corpor
“Any new technology, no mat
ter how valuable, requires
understanding before it*ean be
used appropriately and to the
full benefit of everyone. The stu
dents of today are the food pro
ducers and consumers of the
future, so it is important that
they understand this technology,
and Fields of Genes, we believe,
is a great vehicle to further that
John Soper, Ph.D., director of
Sunflower Research at Pioneer
Hi-Bred International, said
“Biotechnology offers tremen
dous potential for improving the
productivity of the world’s agri
cultural producers as we move
into the next millennium.
“As with many new technolo
gies, the scientific fundamentals
of biotechnology are poorly
understood by many and a num
ber of complex issues have
arisen from its use. Fields of
Genes explores basic scientific
principles which form the foun
dation of biotechnology.” It is our
hope that Fields of Genes will
equip students with an ade
quate scientific foundation to
make better informed decisions
as they deal with emerging
issues regarding the use of
The new curriculum teaches
students about the wonders and
complexity of life, from the
smallest one-celled protozoan to
the multi-billion-celled human,
in the context of agriculture and
Curriculum activities for stu
dents in the primary grades
focus on understanding the liv
ing and nonliving parts of their
world. Fields of Genes exercises
help children begin to develop
the knowledge base on which
they will build values, skills and
Middle school children con
tinue to explore and understand
genetics, biotechnology, and
genetic engineering, while high
schoolers are encouraged
through exercises in Fields of
Genes to plan environmental
stewardship activities related to
biotechnology and the environ
Each chapter of Fields of
Genes contains information and
activities about different aspects
of biotechnology, from focusing
on habitats and organisms’
requirements for life to applica
tions of biotechnology and genet
ic engineering. Each chapter
contains background informa
tion for leaders and each activi
ty contains how-to information,
such as materials needed, and
time involved to complete the
Other aspects of the Fields of
Genes curriculum include rec
ommendations on how to adapt
activities for older/younger chil
dren, relevant project ideas suit
able for science, county and
state fairs and groups discussion
topic recommendations.
The curriculum was produced
by National 4-H Council’s
Environmental Stewardship
program, which encourages
youth to make a commitment to
use natural resources responsi
bly for the sake of their commu
nities and the world around
Reporters wishing to receive
a complimentary copy of Fields
of Genes, Making Sense of
Biotechnology, should call 301-j
The public can order copies
by calling National 4-H Supply
Service at 301-961-2934 and
asking for product number
E 50046.
The cost is $5 plus shipping
and handling. Orders may also
be placed by fax at 301-961-
National 4-H Council is a
non-profit organization that
partners with 4-H, the
Cooperative Extension System,
and other organizations to pur
sue its vision and accomplish its
mission... to realize the transfor
mational power of youth and
adults learning together to
address life’s critical challenges,
and implement its strategies.
National 4-H Council pro
vides hands-on, co-educational
programs and activities that
involve youth as partners, estab
lish youth as resources in their
communities, and provide lead
ership training and experience
to ensure their success. More
than 5.6 million youth, ages five
to nineteen participate in the
4-H program nationwide.