HESTEC QUICK HIT: USDA leads HESTEC sessions for science teachers during Educator Day

By Jennifer L. Berghom

EDINBURG, TEXAS – OCT. 3, 2016 – Science teachers learned about career opportunities for their students and got ideas for entertaining science experiments to try in the classroom, at two sessions led by the U.S. Department of Agriculture during HESTEC’s Educator Day on Monday.

At “Careers with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS),” about a dozen educators heard from Bertha Venegas, the state outreach coordinator for the NRCS, who discussed the variety of jobs, from soil scientists to civil engineers, at the service.

Venegas said employees at the NRCS work one-on-one with landowners to solve problems and help improve the quality of their soil.

“We help people help the land,” she said. “If you have students who like the outdoors, this is it.”

Educators also received some creative ideas to teach students about energy consumption at the USDA’s “Enthuse Your Students about Becoming Future Scientists with Hands-On, Minds-On Activities,” led by Dr. Craig Wilson of the USDA.

Wilson used bubbles to explain the fragility of the earth’s atmosphere, and a water jug with a small amount of ethanol and a lit match to show the chemical reaction of changing liquid to gas.

Teachers also calculated how many calories were in an almond by burning the almond while heating water in a small paper cup.

UTRGV Senior Writer / 956-665-7192
UTRGV Director of News and Internal Communications / 956-665-2742