Columbus students learn how to extract DNA, test water quality in lakes
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Columbus students learn how to extract DNA, test water quality in lakes

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FFA activities, this week: Pumpkin Pink Out Fundraiser: The Columbus FFA officers picked 100 pumpkins and delivered them to American Packaging Company to raise funds for the Pink Out Fundraiser. The Pumpkin Pink Out Fundraiser is also on Classmunity and will be live from Oct. 21- Oct. 25. The pumpkins are all gone, but donations will still be accepted for the fundraiser. The money received will be given to the Columbus Community Hospital to help fund cancer detection equipment. If you go to Columbus School District’s Classmunity page you can find the fundraiser there to donate.

FIRE Conference: On Saturday, Oct. 19, Seven Columbus FFA members attended the Foundations In Reaching Excellence Conference (FIRE). Students in grades 7 and 9 participated in workshops all day learning about FFA opportunities, setting goals and official FFA dress. Each of these young members made a lot of friends from other chapters around the state and they have a lot of fun!

FFA Fruit Sale: The Columbus FFA members have their fruit forms and have started their annual fundraiser. This is a major fundraiser for the chapter and the funds help the chapter cover the members FFA dues, affiliation fees and the expenses related to their agricultural literacy programs and events they host throughout the school year. Your support is greatly appreciated. The fruit sale can also be found on Columbus School District’s Classmunity if you don’t know an FFA member you can order from check out our fundraising page.

SAE Fair: Columbus FFA officer Hannah Dahl set up a new SAE Fair in the middle school classroom promoting her sister Cora’s graphic design SAE project. The MS students enjoyed viewing Cora’s t-shirts she has designed and learning about how she creates and produces her designs.

Upcoming events

National FFA Convention, Oct. 29-Nov. 2: National FFA Convention is fast approaching! The ten Columbus FFA members will be participating in a Living to Serve event this year. This is a volunteer opportunity for FFA members to give back to the local Indianapolis community. The Columbus, Lodi, Sauk Prairie and Wisconsin Heights FFA members will all be working together to help the National FFA with an event intended to help serve those in need. This is a great leadership opportunity for the students!

212/360 Conference: Nov. 15-16 at Chula Vista Resort- Students in grades 9-10 can sign up to attend the 212 Conference and students in grades 11-12 can sign up to attend the 360 Conference. The curriculum for these two conferences alternates each year to provide different experiences each year the students attend. The conference helps the students develop leadership skills and with their personal growth. These two conferences are presented by National FFA staff.

PTO Support: The Columbus PTO made four floor pillows for the middle school Ag room to provide alternative seating for the students. The pillows are great for students that need a closer view of the TV monitor during interactive activities and to see the material more clearly. The students love the pillows! Thank you, PTO!

SAE-The students worked on their sixth week of their career research. This week the 9-12 grade students learned about written communication. They participated in an activity viewing signs posted at places of employment demonstrating how important spelling and grammar are when conveying a message. The students then learned tips to write an email to a teacher. The students had to write an email to a teacher to practice this writing skill. Emails are a main form of written communication used in the work place. The students then worked on their career plans and research.

Columbus High School

Wisconsin Fish and Aquaculture: The students went fishing this week to try their casting skills, test their lures they made and attempted to catch fish for taxidermy. The students didn’t have much luck so we will try again next week. The class also learned about water quality tests that can be performed to check the quality of lakes and streams. The students conducted some of the tests on two samples of water and will use the data to help determine where the samples may have come from.

Animal Science: The students learned about companion animal groups and breeds this week. They covered dogs, horses, and cats. The students are learning how to identify the breeds, which is an important skill for someone employed in the animal industry. The students also learned scientific names of common animals and continued to work on their animal safety and animal career assignments.

Columbus Middle School

Food, Forests and Wildlife: The sixth graders began the week by conducting a worm lab. The students tested different conditions to see which one the worms preferred. The students tested the worms preference for wet versus dry, dark versus light and smooth versus rough. The students wrote hypotheses and collected data they used to base their conclusion. The students also participated in a mushroom lab where they used their observation skills to draw the mushroom from a lateral, top and bottom view. They also used magnifying glasses to try and see the spores in the gills. The class moved on to human recycling and learned about Wisconsin recycling requirements.

Pizza, Pets and Plants: Seventh grade students participated in a DNA Extraction Lab Oct. 14. They used Gatorade to swish inside their mouth to capture some cheek cells. The students followed the lab procedure to extract their DNA. They were surprised that their DNA actually formed a glob that they could see. The class finished up their seed germination experiments and found out that seeds do not need light or soil to germinate. They also compared monocots to dicots and the characteristics that separate the two types of plants. The class returned to Biotechnology for the remainder of the week. They learned about Gel Electrophoresis and how it is a technique used to separate strands of DNA by length of the strands. The students observed a demonstration of Gel electrophoresis and participated in an interactive computer lesson. On Oct. 18 the students learned about biofuels and the types of careers associated with producing, processing, transporting and selling biofuels.

Animals, Plants and Food Science: Eighth grade students were able to taste their mozzarella cheese Oct. 13. It was a very mild flavored cheese and very soft, but tasted better on a cracker! The students moved on to their Animal Science unit and began by learning the correct animal terms for common livestock and companion animals.

The students learned about how animals got their names through a Native American story and how the classification system is used to organize animal species. The students pretended they were scientists that discovered a new species and they were able to name it using what they had learned about the classification system and scientific names. The class finished the week by practicing their animal terms and learning about breeds of livestock animals. Each student selected a breed to conduct research on and create a presentation.

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