Lancaster farming. (Lancaster, Pa., etc.) 1955-current, October 14, 2000, Image 32

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    A32-Lancaster Farming, Saturday, October 14, 2000
New Ag Science Construction
(Continued from Pago A 1)
it’s working. Each of these kids
have managed an area and man
aged it really well. Young kids
are seeing what are they’re in
terested in and picking their
specialty areas.”
Not only do TLAs oversee
general maintenance and inven
tory of their areas, they are also
drafted as teachers as they set
up laboratory demonstrations
and even deliver an occasional
“They only get one credit,”
said Miller. “The real reason
they go at it is because they like
the area. They run the place.”
Miller also sees the TLA posi
tion as an excellent resume
builder. “They’re already set up
to be a lab assistant because
they’ve already done it,” he
The position changes each se
mester, with new students
moving in to take on TLA re
An extensive video library
provides another avenue of
learning for the students. More
than 1,000 titles address specific
agriculture, science, and envi
ronmental science topics. The
titles are cataloged in a com
puter, which allows students to
search by subject or keyword.
In the “wet” laboratory, stu
dents perform chemical,
biotechological, and genetic ex
perimentation. Last year stu
dents inserted a gene into the
e.coli bacteria to make it blue. A
stereo microscope is attached to
a TV screen so all of the students
can observe the slides.
Students grow bacteria and
plant tissue culture as they learn
about microbiology in the
school’s labs. Here they place
plants, as little as one cell, into a
special media with essential nu
trients a plant needs to grow.
Students perform the process in
the laminar flow unit which
blows the sterile air needed to
keep the bacteria from the cells.
“This is actually research lab
like conditions,” said Miller.
“We hope to develop inventory
to sell $7 apiece tubes to other
schools across the East Coast.
Greenhouse ferns start this way,
in a totally sterile environment,
so the plants start disease-free
and contain no pathogens.
“Our goal here all through the
place is not to produce but train
kids to success in the agricul
tural science program,” said
According to Miller, 95 per
cent of Conrad Weiser agricul
tural science students go onto a
four-year university, with more
These tanks will be used to raise Koi and teach students about fish production.
Students study the internal anatomy of fish with teacher
Harold Dietrich.
than 65 percent of those stu
dents entering agricultural
science-related majors and the
remaining students in health
and medical fields.
“They don’t survive four
years here unless they like the
science,” said Miller.
Approximately 45 broilers
have taken up residence in the
“animal laboratory” of the agri
cultural sciences wing. The
chicks, which came in when they
were about a day old, are now
three weeks old. The fence
which hems in chicks is portable
and will be rearranged to
become a residence for lambs
and pigs during the school year.
Senior Amy Moyer takes care
of the health of the chicks by
making sure they have proper
light and ventilation and keep
ing the area clean. As a TLA,
Moyer also oversees the nutri
tion program and checks to see
if the chicks can easily reach the
food and water.
Moyer will also oversee the
upcoming chicken barbecue.
After the chicks fully mature
they will be sent off to
slaughtered, dressed, and re
turned to the school, where stu
dents will finish preparing and
host the barbecue.
“It will be adventurous, it’s all
new,” said Moyer.
“It’s what the room was de
signed to teach,” said Miller,
who wants students to see the
farm-to-table aspect of agricul
“We only have a minority of
kids from farm families,” said
The greenhouse and soil prep
aration room is Elliot Hoffman’s
TLA territory. “We can control
the heat and climate,” said
Hoffman. “We can have the
desert next to a tropical rain
forest because we have climate
and irrigation control for every
square foot in the greenhouse.
This is really college level,
almost to the laboratory level
with the control we have here.”
Interestingly, you won’t find
any soil in the soil preparation
room. Instead, a soil media is
used for potting. Besides plans
for a dwarf orchard and disease
resistant American Elm and
Chestnut nursery, the digging is
now in progress for an outdoor
turf plot.
In the upcoming year stu
dents can also look forward to a
symposium where the freshmen
will write proposals and get
local funding for research proj
Current projects include nine
teen generations of milkweed
bug housed in the classroom, or
the coral reef slowly building in
a tank which mimics Mediter
ranean longitude and latitude
In addition, aquaculture stu
dents take daily reads on the
school’s striped bass population.
Also 10th grade ag science stu
dents will perform caponization
surgery this spring.
Academics is stressed, said
Miller, who makes sure the stu
dents keep a scientist-type jour
nal which features drawings,
daily notes, class notes, profes
sional contacts, and extra study.
Twin Valley
At Twin Valley High School,
300 ag science students study
environmental, agricultural, and
technical areas.
In all, the ag science area
boasts a shop, two-sectioned
greenhouse, two classrooms, an
(Turn to Pago A 33)
Senior Amy Moyer, a teaching laboratory assistant,
takes care of the health 45 broilers chicks by making sure
they have proper light and ventilation and keeping the area
clean. Moyer will also oversee the upcoming chicken bar
Ag science chair and teacher Ron Frederick has plans
for production and sale of plants, plus installation of rain
forest plants.
Senior Amanda Hettinger does not have a farming back
ground, but has enjoyed her ag science courses at Twin
Valley for four years. “I enjoy working with and learning
about animals,” said Hettinger. "I also like the students in
the classes.” In aquaculture class, students learn to in
stall a power filter and fill the tank with decorations, be
sides cleaning, and checking the water level and
temperature of the tank.