Weekly newspaper of Three Rivers, California, and Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks

Kirsten Killian's award-winning agri-science project.

Woodlake High students among Ag Fair winners heading to state competition

By: 
Michael Seib

 

As part of their partnership with the Future Farmers of America (FFA), Woodlake High School’s agricultural education program has placed three outstanding students in the Agriscience Fair state competition, scheduled for April 22 to 24 in Anaheim. 
 
The Fair is one of the FFA’s 25 Career Development Events that prepare students for 250 careers in agriculture, ranging from communications to plant science. The events put into effect the FFA’s longtime goal to promote success of youth in rural communities and cultivating pride in their home regions. 
 
The students that presented their projects and scored 70 percent or better were recognized at the local level. Nine students from Woodlake High School’s freshman class showed their projects March 2 and 3 at the Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Field Day at UC Davis, including the three winners who are now Anaheim bound: 
 
Kirsten Killian— Plants Systems-Novice Division. 
 
Izaiah Benavides— Power, Structural, and Technical Systems-Novice Division. 
 
Alyssa Mendez— Food Products and Processing Systems-Novice Division. 
 
A big component for any Ag Academy student — who are automatic honorary FFA members — is Project-Based Learning. The students work with industry professionals to see how science and English interrelate and in real-world applications. WHS English and science teachers, Amy Parreira and Jason Ferreira, collaborate with the students through Linked Learning. 
 
Recruitment is done at middle schools and also online. (To check out the application process, go to www.whstigers.org and scroll down to the Ag section to watch a video.)
 
“I’m excited to be returning to a state competition for my second year in a row,” said Kirsten Killian of Three Rivers, a freshman at WHS. “There was definitely a lot of hard work put into this project.”
 
Kirsten competed at the California State Science Fair in 2017 when her eighth-grade science project was selected to advance from the county competition. At the state level, she was awarded fourth place in the Mammalian Biology-Junior Division for her project “Pawsitively
Predominant! Do Dogs Have a Dominant Paw?”
 
Her current project is entitled “The effect of different rootstocks on several mandarin varieties in California.” 
 
In the overall competition last month at UC Davis, Woodlake High School also won the Outstanding Novice Division 1st High Overall Team award, beating out larger schools such as Sacramento, Santa Rosa, Salinas, and Elk Grove. 
 
Watch for great things as the three Woodlake High Ag Academy students and their award-winning projects now head south to the Anaheim this month to face off against other aspiring agri-scientists from throughout California.
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