Awards

Ideas Unlimited Awards

For years teachers have been exchanging classroom and teaching ideas. This is what keeps the agricultural education programs alive and teachers enthusiastic. The NAAE Ideas Unlimited Award recognizes teachers for developing and sharing innovative ideas with their colleges nationwide.

Each recipient received a plaque and a cash award to attend the annual conference in Las Vegas. Delmar Thomson Learning sponsored this award.

Region I
Katie Thalman
North Summit High School
Coalville, Utah
Region IV
Brian Matchett
Ravenna High School
Ravenna, Michigan
Region II
Jason Larison
Holton High School
Holton, Kansas
Region V
Mike Bartholomew
Southern Nash High School
Spring Hope, North Carolina
Region III
Tony Boehm
Richland County Vocational Center
Fargo, North Dakota
Region VI
Sally Shomo
Beverley Manor Middle School
Staunton, Virginia

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Region I
Katie Thalman
North Summit High School
Coalville, Utah

Katie Thalman found a way to put the abstract world of DNA structure in the hands of her students, or at least, on the hands of her students. Thalman makes DNA pairing hands on by having students construct DNA structures they can wear as bracelets.

The students use pipe cleaners as backbones and beads as bases, stringing the first bases and then using their knowledge about pairing to string the second bases. Students wear the bracelet until the next class period, explaining to at least ten people the significance of the bracelet and the basic idea of DNA to receive a passing grade.

For more information about this innovative idea contact Katie Thalman at North Summit High School at 435.336.5656 or by email at kthalman@nsummit.k12.ut.us.

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Region II
Jason Larison
Holton High School
Holton, Kansas

Jason Larison looks forward to the day when video equipment will be used as an agricultural education tool just as easily integrated as welders, greenhouses, computers, and overhead projectors, and maybe that day isn't too far off. Last spring Larison's students developed their own recruitment video complete with interviews from present members and FFA Alumni. Using the Apple software I-movie the students produced a finished video in DVD and VHS format that included transitions, rolling credits, and name popups.

The video was such a success that Larison already has plans for all students in his horticulture class next year to make an I-movie over a plant process for the class to learn from each other. In the future Jason's students have also made plans to make an 8th grade recruitment video, a year-end report, and small videos to play on the chapter website.

For more information about this innovative idea contact Jason Larison at Holton High School at 785.364.2181 or by email at jlarison@holtonks.net.

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Region III
Tony Boehm
Richland County Vocational Center
Fargo, North Dakota

Each student in Tony Boehm's class receives a letter asking them to develop a new product for the fictional Upper Crust Bread Company. The students are given a basic recipe for the quick bread and a profile of the customer they are to appeal to. Within these guidelines they must create bread using at least two additional ingredients.

Not only do they develop a recipe for a quick bread for UCBC they also bake the bread for testing, develop a marketing plan, design packaging, and develop a HAACP program for their fictional production facility. Tony is quick to point out that this "roll playing" isn't just about baking bread. His students learn the recipe behind success in food science and the career options included in agricultural processing area.

For more information about this innovative idea contact Tony Boehm at Richland County Vocational Center at 701.372.3713 or by email at tony.boehm@sendit.nodak.edu.

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Region IV
Brian Matchett
Ravenna High School
Ravenna, Michigan

Matchett has helped create a Soil Profile Pit educational facility that will provide students an opportunity to get out of the classroom and have a hands-on learning opportunity with soil. A sound understanding of soils is vital to competency in science and soil is included in the curriculum of the Lowell Area School District in all twelve grades.

In the Soil Profile Pit, students are able to examine the different soil profiles and horizons in the five-foot deep, sixteen-foot long pit. The pit provides a visual representation for students who are studying soil profiles and allows them to be able to physically feel the different soil horizons that they are studying in the classroom.

For more information about this innovative idea contact Brian Matchett at Ravenna High School at 231.835.2218 or by email at matchet4@msu.edu.

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Region V
Mike Bartholomew
Southern Nash High School
Spring Hope, North Carolina

Anyone who has ever played a game of Operation knows the fun of using a circuit board. Using a manila envelope, aluminum foil, and a hole punch Mike Bartholomew found a way to use this idea in his classroom with circuit board lessons that make learning terms and definitions more interesting.

Punching holes on each side of the manila envelope and connecting answers and questions with aluminum foil allows the use of a continuity tester to check for accuracy. Using this method teaches the basics of electricity while providing a great study tool.

For more information about this innovative idea contact MIke Bartholomew at Southern Nash High School by phone at 252.478.5450 or by email at mbartholomew@nrms.k12.nc.us.

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Region VI
Sally Shomo
Beverley Manor Middle School
Staunton, Virginia

Shomo created an activity called "Happy Farmer's Day" for sixth graders, that is not only fun for the students, but also meets several Language Art competency requirements. Telling the students that they are employees of a greeting card company that has decided to develop a new holiday to honor farmers, they are to create a card. Each student must draw a picture on the front of the card and create a paragraph or poem inside stating their appreciation for what the farmer does. After the teacher checks a rough draft, students make a final copy and are then given an address of a farmer. After a lesson on how to address envelopes, the cards are mailed to local farmers.

For more information about this innovative idea contact Sally Shomo at Beverley Manor High School by phone at 540.885.5806 or by email at sshomo@augusta.k12.va.us.

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