Presque Isle Regional Career & Technical Center

Presque Isle • Mapleton • Chapman • Castle Hill • Westfield

Education in MSAD #1 will empower students to reach their potential as critical thinkers, problem solvers and effective communicators.

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AGRISCIENCE & NATURAL RESOURCES

Instructors:

Shelly Gross
Vicki McCurry

PURPOSE OF PROGRAM

AgriScience, at Presque Isle Regional Career and Technical Center, with emphasis on Science, offers a wide variety of courses combining principles and techniques, science theory and integrated hands-on learning experiences in the classrooms, laboratories, and at the MSAD #1 Educational Farm.

All AgriScience courses contain hands-on instruction with inquiry based instruction as the goal. Students are presented content and concepts that are carried out in a laboratory, greenhouse, or at the school farm – all extended classrooms – or on field trips. Our classrooms are technology and multi-media driven. PowerPoint lessons, information via the Internet and live demonstrations display the living color of our agricultural world.

CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

Employment opportunities will continue to increase for those who provide and market an expanding array of food, forest, and veterinary medical consumer products to a growing world population. Demand for food and fiber will increase because of the growth in world population and the demand for U.S. agricultural exports as developing nations improve their economics and personal incomes. Plant scientists are using new avenues of research in biotechnology to develop plants and food crops that require less fertilizer, fewer pesticides and herbicides and even less water for growth.

SAMPLE OCCUPATIONS

Plant Breeder Fisheries Manager
Soil and Water Specialist Agri-Marketing
Botanist Farm Manager
Greenhouse Manager Livestock Buyer/Seller
Biochemist Feed/Farm Supply Manager
Animal Nutritionist Agricultural Salesperson
Veterinarian Forest Worker/Logger
Agricultural Engineer Fish and Game Officer
Wildlife Manager Park Manager

Required Science Option

Agricultural Biology/Chemistry (Grades 10 and 11) is a three-period block designed to offer students the opportunity to complete their life and physical science requirements within an agricultural frame of reference

The biology portion of the course emphasizes problem-solving, decision-making, critical thinking and applied learning utilizing the scientific link with examples from agriculture. Students will explore the principles of biology and apply these concepts and principles to issues in the workplace, in society, and in personal experiences. Areas of study will include: microscopes, cell structure, cell transport, cell reproduction, genetics, biotechnology and GMO’s, evolution and natural selection, classification, various groups of organisms, biodiversity, and ecosystems.

The chemistry portion of the course is designed to convey understanding of the structure, behavior and interactions of matter at the atomic level, and the relationship between matter and energy. Topics of study include: lab safety and scientific methods; the fundamentals of chemistry, chemical properties and analysis of water; chemistry of foods; organic compounds and their chemistry; plant biochemistry; soil chemical properties and testing; plant nutrition and fertilizers; and, pesticide chemistry.

The agriculture lab component will focus on exposing students to issues directly relating to agriculture while expanding upon topics introduced in biology and chemistry. Students will also become integral participants in the local FFA Chapter and its activities. Learning will be completed through both classroom lecture and hands- on projects. Topics will include, but are not limited to, items such as: GPS and geocaching, long-term research project(s), American agricultural history, and agricultural careers.

 Elective Options

Natural Resources Conservation (Grades 11 and 12) is a two or three-period block designed to prepare students to work in or to pursue further education in the fields of forestry, wildlife, aquatics and soil conservation. (For dual enrollment credit available, see below.)

This is a hands-on approach to the subject matter. Students will be outside for much of the school year learning skills such as GPS navigation, compass and pacing, as well as mapping and water testing. There will be individual learning opportunities that support living in, working with, and enjoying the outdoors. Students will take three major field trips; two to Grand Lake Streams where they will work with fishery biologists to first harvest salmon eggs and then later clip fins; and the third, an all-day study of tree identification, timber- cruising, animal habitats, and a soils pit. Students enrolled for a three-period block will receive enrichment in the area of either animal sciences or aquaculture.

Plant Sciences (Grades 11 and 12) is a two or three-period block designed to introduce and expose students to the field of plant sciences in a variety of ways. The course is divided into a classroom and lab environment.

While this class does have a classroom component, a great deal of time is also spent utilizing both the MSAD#1 School Farm and the smaller greenhouse attached to PIRCTC. Students learn to work cooperatively on group projects and practice problem-solving skills. Topics include greenhouse styles, hydroponics, plant taxonomy, plant anatomy and functions, plant physiology, fertilization plans, plant propagation techniques, integrated pest management, and landscape design. Students enrolled for a three-period block will receive enrichment in the area of either animal sciences or aquaculture.

Animal Sciences (Grades 11 and 12) will prepare students to demonstrate competence in the application of scientific principles and techniques to the management of animal production enterprises.

This course is designed to provide a forum in which students can study large, small and specialty animals. Students will explore the necessary elements—such as nutrition, genetics, habitat, and behavior—to create humane, ecologically and economically sustainable animal production systems. Numerous field trips to various animal enterprises and facilities are an integral part of the course. Opportunities will exist to enhance 4-H and FFA selection and judging skills.

Aquaculture (Grades 11 and 12) is designed to introduce the students to the hobby of maintaining and breeding tropical fish under controlled conditions, and to explore issues that directly affect the coast of Maine and its fishing industry and heritage. The course is divided into a classroom and lab environment.

This course utilizes the MSAD #1 fish lab on site at PIRCTC and the numerous classroom tanks to model both marine and freshwater tanks. Students are responsible for the upkeep of the lab and also partake in numerous projects as needed. Classroom work will cover topics such as: all structural components of aquariums and aquarium design, marine ecosystems off the coast of Maine, overfishing, invasive species, and coral reefs. Field trips include visits to Grand Lake Stream State Fish Hatchery. This class offers an excellent opportunity for students interested in marine biology, outdoor recreation, fish hobbyists, and natural resources.

School Farm Employment

Students may apply for summer positions at the MSAD #1 Educational Farm. Each student must apply with an application that includes references. Interviews may be part of this procedure. Students who are enrolled in the three periods will be given first opportunity for these employment opportunities.

Dual Enrollment Agreements for College Credit in Natural Resources Conservation

University of Maine at Fort Kent:

ENV 200 Principles of Environmental Studies MAT 125 College Algebra-3 Credits