Friday, March 28, 2014

Checking In With #psuaged14, Meagan Slates

West Perry Student Teacher
Meagan Slates
This semester the members of #psuaged14 are completing their student teaching all across the state! This week we are checking in with Meagan Slates who is student teaching at West Perry High School to see how her classroom experience is going so far!

Meagan (@Meagan_PSU) grew up in Hickory, PA and attended Fort Cherry High School where she was a member of the H.G. Parkinson FFA Chapter. She chose to do her student teaching at West Perry High School for a number of reasons. The program includes two teachers and a variety of courses ranging from plant and soil science to Ag mechanics and wildlife. The school is also has a larger Ag department than where Meagan went to school and they also have a large and FFA chapter as well.

The variety of courses has been one of Meagan’s challenges but she wouldn’t change it at all. She stated “I love that I get to teach something so different every class period but it's a challenge when it comes to the topic I'm not an expert in. However I know that I always have the help of my cooperating teachers and that is awesome!”
Meagan and students welding ice cubes together!

While the job can have its challenges, the benefits definitely outweigh them. Slates’ favorite part of her student teaching experience so far is getting to see the students succeed and enjoy what they are doing. She also enjoys attending conferences with the FFA chapter and watching the young ninth graders come to class. The ninth graders are learning to weld and completing a feed scoop project. “The students love being in the shop and working on their projects. It’s so cool to see how many of the younger students are scared to weld but end up liking it!”

Meagan’s advice to future student teacher candidates is to “challenge yourself! Teach those subject areas you’re not confident in. During student teaching you have a cooperating teacher and a PSU advisor to help you…use them! Ask questions you’re not sure about and take chances.”
Meagan and her cooperating teachers Mr. John Hines & Mrs. Ayla Miller (Detwiler) of West Perry!
 Both are PSU Alums!

Keep up with Meagan and follow her student teaching journey on her blog:  http://agvocatingforthefuture.blogspot.com/


To learn more about starting on the path to having a career that makes a positive impact on the lives of students across the globe by becoming an agricultural educator, please contact the agricultural teacher education program at teachag@psu.edu. Follow us on Twitter at TeachAgPSU, on Facebook, or on our blog!



Laura Metrick 
Student Blogger
2014 Teach Ag! Avenger
@Its_Laura Beth

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Deanna Miller (#psuaged15) goes to Germany to learn about Poultry Sciences

Deanna Miller, 2015 Student Teacher
If you didn't think that Penn State could get any better from the wide array of classes that it already offers, you can look into taking classes that will include traveling to different countries! As many college students were at the beaches, spending time with family and friends, or even sleeping in all morning, Deanna Miller (@deannapsu15) had different ideas for her spring break. Deanna is a 2015 student teacher who traveled to Germany to learn about the poultry science industry.
A poultry barn in Germany
Deanna is involved in the Animal Science 499A class that is offered in the spring semester at the University Park campus. She was able to travel to cities such as Berlin, Celle, and Vechta, with the other avian science minor students! While in Celle and Vechta, they visited with Lohman Animal Health, Big Dutchman, an animal welfare facility, a broiler and turkey processing plant, an aviary, as well as the University of Vechta. When they traveled to Berlin, they saw the Holocaust memorial, the topography of terror, and the Reichstag which is the German Parliament building. All of that was packed into just a short week that they were there!


Deanna enjoyed her time there so much that she wants to bring international experience to share with her students to empower them to have the courage to travel! She states that, “I realized that the world really isn't that big and that there are so many different perspectives that are encountered when you travel. In addition, I have realized that there are people who get things done yet still find time to relax and enjoy life which is what I want to do more.” Deanna loved her trip and encourages everyone to go travel the world to experience something new.

To learn more about starting on the path to having a career that makes a positive impact on the lives of students across the globe by becoming an agricultural educator, please contact the agricultural teacher education program at teachag@psu.edu. Follow us on Twitter at TeachAgPSU, on Facebook, or on our blog!


Olivia Murphy-Sweet
Student Blogger
Teach Ag! Avenger

Twitter Handle @OSweetMurph
2016 Agricultural Education Student Teacher 

#psuaged16: Olivia Murphy-Sweet's Spring Break in Haiti

Olivia Murphy-Sweet, 2016 Student Teacher 
Penn State was represented all over the world during the week of spring break this year. Many Agriculture and Extension Education majors spent their break helping others, learning about agriculture and being a positive agent of change in a variety of places. Olivia Murphy-Sweet (@OSweetMurph) was one of those students. Olivia, a member of the 2016 student teaching co-hort (#psuaged16) spent her spring break in Haiti with the Project Haiti Club. She helped out at an orphanage in Hinche, and did work at a mission house and throughout the community.

The orphanage was home to over 250 children who were without places to live and without parents. Olivia and the other Penn State students she traveled with, spent time with the children playing soccer, basketball, cards and so much more! The trip was also a great educational experience for Olivia. She got to spend time walking through the local markets in Hinche and got to visit the oldest Catholic church in the western hemisphere.
Olivia spent time working at an orphanage
in Haiti

When they were not working at the orphanage, Olivia and her fellow team members went to the neighboring village of Jacsonville. While there, they worked to help build a mission house and clinic. Olivia stated, “I did jobs such as moving over 100 logs for the clinic, moving rocks to help build a foundation for a cement building, helping with the garden in a tree nursery, and painted inside the mission house. It was nice to help out in the little ways that I could!”

Her greatest take away from the trip was the interaction with the people there and listening to what they had to say. One of the most memorable moments was when the leader of the Mission work in Jacsonville told her “You have to plan your dreams and then fight for them. The only one in your ways is yourself.”  Olivia said this quote and the many experiences she had on the trip will benefit her future in agriculture education because it “made me more aware of what is going on in the world, helped me to realize how important international agriculture is, made me think about more than just myself and pushed me to be that positive agent of change!”

While the trip presented some challenges like not being able to shower for a week and running into more rats and tarantulas then she had planned on, Olivia would do it all again in a heartbeat and urges students to take any opportunities they get to travel abroad. She said “I believe that everyone needs to experience that people can survive without technology and live on less. It’s great to see a world that is totally different from your own. The life lessons you learn on these trips are countless and unforgettable.” 


To learn more about starting on the path to having a career that makes a positive impact on the lives of students across the globe by becoming an agricultural educator, please contact the agricultural teacher education program at teachag@psu.edu. Follow us on Twitter at TeachAgPSU, on Facebook, or on our blog!



Laura Metrick
Student Blogger
2015 Student Teacher
@Its_LauraBeth

PSU Teach Ag! Team: Laura Sankey Rice

Mrs. Laura Sankey Rice
"A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops." This quote by Henry Brooks Adams is a favorite of Laura Sankey Rice and it really does apply to her future goals. Rice (@LauraSankeyRice) is one of the newest faculty members here at Penn State in the Agriculture Education department and she hopes to continue to help develop the teacher preparation program to be one of the best in the nation.

She got her undergraduate degree from Penn State in 2007 then also got her Masters at Penn State in 2011. She is currently working on her PhD here at PSU so it is safe to say she has blue and white in her blood. When asked about her decision to work at Penn State Laura said, “I have a great respect for the teacher preparation program and the faculty within the program and was honored to have the opportunity to work with such great role models and help make a positive difference in the lives of students wanting to become well rounded, innovative agriculture educators.”

Before coming to PSU, Laura taught at Keystone Central Mountain and Clearfield Area High school. She also was a summer intern with Clearfield County Cooperative Extension. While teaching, Laura received a PAAE nomination for the “Teachers Turn the Key Award” in 2010 and also received a local grant to endorse and promote composting among the teachers at the school.

While she has many goals and hopes for the Agriculture Education program here at Penn State, the most important things in her life right now are her husband and their baby that’s on the way! Stop in the Ferguson building to say hello to Mrs. Sankey Rice and welcome here to the Ag Ed Family!

To learn more about starting on the path to having a career that makes a positive impact on the lives of students across the globe by becoming an agricultural educator, please contact the agricultural teacher education program at teachag@psu.edu. Follow us on Twitter at TeachAgPSU, on Facebook, or on our blog!

Laura Metrick 
2015 Student Teacher 
Twitter: @Its_LauraBeth
2014 Teach Ag Avenger

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

PSU Teach Ag! Avenger Spotlight: Laura Metrick, #psuaged15

Laura Metrick!
Shining a spotlight on the next Teach Ag Avenger, Laura Metrick (@Its_LauraBeth) you will notice how much she has done for Penn State in her short time since she has transferred to University Park. You might even recognize her as the author for some posts on this blog! Laura did not grow up with the typical FFA background but that is what has made her story so amazing!

Laura has always know that she wanted to base her life around agriculture. Born and raised from a family farm in Butler County, it was easy for her to incorporate agriculture into her life. She grew up showing animals for 4-H, putting countless hours into her families produce farm, and even advocating in her school how important agriculture is. Even though her high school didn't have an FFA program, Laura jumped right into facilitating workshops for FFA when she became an Avenger!

Laura, a 2015 student teacher (#psuaged15), gave this quote, “Being an avenger is such an awesome experience! I love interacting with the public and teaching them about Penn State and the Ag Ed Major!” 

Laura's Family
Since being an Avenger she has facilitated a weekend of ACES workshops in Harrisburg, PA, facilitated an FFA knowledge event in Penn’s Valley High School, and has even judged a Parliamentary Procedures Competition in Line Mountain! She has definitely jumped into agriculture in so many different ways and her passion shines through on every task she completes!



To learn more about starting on the path to having a career that makes a positive impact on the lives of students across the globe by becoming an agricultural educator, please contact the agricultural teacher education program at teachag@psu.edu. Follow us on Twitter at TeachAgPSU, on Facebook, or on our blog


Olivia Murphy-Sweet
Student Blogger

Teach Ag! Avenger
Twitter Handle @OSweetMurph
2016 Agricultural Education Student Teacher
   



Tuesday, March 4, 2014

#psuaged14 Todd McMillen's Pioneer Internship: Not just for moving out West


We all know that when you put seeds in the ground they grow and develop into plants. But, most of us don’t know the process of how seeds have developed over time. Todd McMillen (@ToddMcMillen1), one of Penn State’s 2014 student teachers, did an internship with DuPont Pioneer assisting in the development of corn hybrids by increasing the genetic variability. It is a long process but Todd was up for the challenge!


Todd McMillen 2014 Student Teacher
Working as an employee of Pioneer Hi-Bred International for 4 months, in New Holland, Pennsylvania, Todd planted plots of corn in different breeds to help the cross pollination. He also assisted in disease scoring of different corn varieties with their resistance of Northern Leaf Blight and Gray Leaf Spot. These diseases that he was tracking have effected the corn population in the husks of the corn making them look spotted. It is important to track this so that farmers know about what is happening to their crops. He also collected data on the corn varieties that have been on the marked for 10 years. While he was doing this internship, he couldn’t commute back and forth from his home so he had to stay with a Mennonite family outside of Newville. He said that they were very welcoming and that it was a very easy living with them because they welcomed home with open arms.

One of the food plots that
Pioneer was testing.
Since his internship, he is now a student teacher at Big Springs High School under the supervision of Mrs. Fulton and Mrs. Nailor. He wants to leave his mark on the world by living for the moment and not letting moving into different areas scare you or discourage you. Living with the Martin family and taking the internship was one of the best times in Todd’s life. He realized his passion for agronomic crops and showed him all of the opportunities available in corn and soybean research. Todd will do great things in his future through teaching and research.
  

Olivia Murphy-Sweet
Student Blogger

Teach Ag! Avenger
Twitter Handle @OSweetMurph
2016 Agricultural Education Student Teacher
 

PSU Teach Ag! Avenger Spotlight: Janae Herr

The Penn State AEE department has selected seven individuals to effectively and efficiently reach out to the next generation of positive agents of change in school-based agricultural education. These seven students are known as the Teach Ag Avengers and they will spend the next year spreading the word about how awesome Agriculture Education is! Over the next few months we will be featuring the Avengers in blog posts spotlighting them one by one. First up, Janae Herr.

Teach Ag Avenger, Janae Herr interacting with
FFA members!
Janae (@kjherr17) has known she wanted to be an agriculture educator for a long time and when she had to decide where she wanted to attend college it was a no brainer. “I always knew I wanted to teach Ag Ed and there is no better place to do that than Penn State” Herr said. Janae’s passion about the future of agriculture and her want to empower students to influence the agriculture industry for the better are what drew her to the major.


Janae during her High School FFA days
She was also an active FFA member during her high school years in Lancaster, PA. Janae, a 2016 student teacher candidate, stated “I owe a large portion of me to the Blue & Gold. Now I anxiously anticipate the day I get to give back to this incredible organization when I get to serve as an FFA advisor!” While in FFA she held four SAE’s which included beef finishing, market lamb finishing, off farm employment and practicum skills while she was the local Dairy Princess. She also held the positions of Secretary, Vice President and President in her local chapter and Secretary and President on the County level.

This is Janae’s second year serving as a Teach Ag Avenger and she is just as excited for the year ahead. Her favorite part of being an Avenger is interacting with various audiences and sharing the passion she has for agriculture education. This year she has already facilitated workshops at the FFA ACES conference and interacted with students at the State 4-H Leadership Conference.


To learn more about starting on the path to having a career that makes a positive impact on the lives of students across the globe by becoming an agricultural educator, please contact the agricultural teacher education program at teachag@psu.edu. Follow us on Twitter at TeachAgPSU, on Facebook, or on our blog!




Laura Metrick
Student Blogger
2014 Teach Ag Avenger
Twitter: @Its_LauraBeth

#psuaged15 Member, Carly-Jean Schaefer, Awarded University Leadership Scholarship

Carly-Jean Schaefer,
2015 Student Teacher Candidate
Being active in many clubs, organizations and events has always been something Carly-Jean Schaefer (@CarlyJeanBean) loved. Now, not only is she a member of many groups, she has become a leader. Carly-Jean started the first Agriculture Club at Penn State Behrend, was nominated for the Freshman of the Year award, is a mentor for change of campus students and facilitates freshman seminars. 

Her hard work and leadership abilities made Carly-Jean a perfect recipient for the Jane Wood Reno Memorial Scholarship. The Scholarship which is given through the Student Leadership and Service Awards Committee recognizes students who have achieved superior academic records, provides community service and holds leadership positions.

Carly with current Student Teacher, Megan Slates
at the National FFA Convention.
Carly-Jean was very grateful that people are investing in the future of current students. She said “It is so kind that scholarships are sponsored for students enrolling in higher education.  I am working and paying my own way through college so it is a great relief to be recognized and have someone out there to help me pay for tuition.  I am very appreciative and grateful to have received this award.”

Schaefer credits her leadership abilities to her passion for agriculture along with growing up in Allegheny County homesteading with her family. “My parents always supported my sister's and I's work ethic and our passions.  I believe that what helped me the most through my undergrad years is my hard work ethic that I learned from Ma and Pa.”

Carly-Jean’s future plan is for ultimate success. Whether it is teaching high school, becoming a cranberry farmer up north, teaching extension or taking a Conestoga wagon out west and being a pioneer, Carly just wants to be passionate about what she does and be happy doing it.
Carly was also a member of the PSU Collegiate Debate team with
fellow AEE Majors Howard Poole, Jeanne Case and Caleb Wright. 
To learn more about starting on the path to having a career that makes a positive impact on the lives of students across the globe by becoming an agricultural educator, please contact the agricultural teacher education program at teachag@psu.edu. Follow us on Twitter at TeachAgPSU, on Facebook, or on our blog!



Laura Metrick
Student Blogger
2104 Teach Ag Avenger
Twitter: @Its_LauraBeth
2015 Student Teacher Candidate 

Newest Addition to the Ag Ed family: Feature on Jon Seaman


Students working on the Rain Garden
Project!
With the recent amount of people interested on teaching agriculture, events to go to, and meetings with potential students, it is hard trying to find time to organize everything. Jon Seaman (@JonSeamanAgEd), a Penn State graduate from 2007, has been hired to facilitate and run a lot of the programs that the Agricultural Extension and Education major has to offer, which includes, watching over the recent cohort of student teachers, looking over the Teach Ag! Avenger team, and much more!

Some students actually were allowed to run the machinery
for the garden project!


Mr. Seaman was a teacher before he came to PSU which allows us to get his personal insight on what we could do better  as teachers. He taught for 5 years at the Chambersburg Area Senior High School as an agriculture teacher and then at the Chambersburg Area Career Magnet School as applied STEM. During his times at both of those schools, he had his students rolling out several hands on assignments that gave them experiential learning! During his time there, he applied for several grants to help his school programs. He received a $5,000 grant from PA DEP to help support his schools community rain garden. He also received a $10,000 grant from the PA DEP again and used that money to install a 3,000 sq. ft. living roof on a portion of the high school. That project required to have the kids take over 21 tons of engineered soil up three stories one wheelbarrow at a time. All of the hard work and determination that the students had made the project amazing.

Students still working on the project!
By coming to Penn State, Jon is bringing all of his big dreams and plans to the college. In some short goals that he listed, he wants to establish a cross- curricular network of partners within the university as well as continuing to meet new students and build relationships with them. Looking into the future even more, he wants to get agricultural educators excited and trained to incorporate STEM, nanotechnology, and robotics, into their curriculum to keep agricultural education competitive with other curricular content areas.

With some many awesome goals and plans for the future, we are so happy to have Mr. Seaman at State College! If you ever want to stop by and say hello to Mr. Seaman (which he highly encourages!) his office is in 206 Ferguson!

To learn more about starting on the path to having a career that makes a positive impact on the lives of students across the globe by becoming an agricultural educator, please contact the agricultural teacher education program at teachag@psu.edu. Follow us on Twitter at TeachAgPSU, on Facebook, or on our blog!


Olivia Murphy-Sweet
Student Blogger

Teach Ag! Avenger
Twitter Handle @OSweetMurph
2016 Agricultural Education Student Teacher