Year 11 Agricultural Science students and Mrs Caitlin Berghofer visited UQ Gatton Campus on Tuesday for a Sunflower Activity Day. After a brief welcome from Dr Anthony Young, Senior Lecturer - Crop Protection, Glennie students are keen to chase the current record of 4.5kg for a single sunflower head in the recently launched Sunflower growing competition. Dr Young has been to Glennie on a number of occasions for the Year 10 Science Festival so it was great to catch up with him again.
The excursion delivered four interactive activity rotations including Agribusiness, Wildlife, and two Nursery activities. In the Agribusiness activity, students worked collaboratively to make decisions about the operations of a fictional cattle farm. We had some savvy rural students in both groups netting profitable outcomes for their farms.
The second activity involved a visit to the Native Wildlife Facility. As our group split into two, group one handled and learned about animal skull identification. Group two were able to get up close to some native species of mice, lizards, frogs and snakes. Some students were braver than others volunteering to hold the black-headed python. This experience alone was amazing to behold even for the nervous onlookers safely standing at a distance.
In the third activity, we ventured to the Nursery where the focus was on different growing environments, comparison of plants grown in different shade environments and factors that drive plant growth in pot and field environments.
The fourth activity was a soil assessment of plants growing in a range of commercial mixes, different soil types and characteristics of the differences in these soils.
The nursery activities were insightful and students are now eagerly considering their approach to sunflower growing with great anticipation. We look forward to sharing updates about their progress in a future eNews edition.
Glennie students were surprised to meet Glennie Old Girl Connar McLaren (GOG 2014) at the nursery activities. Connar now has a degree in Agricultural Science and also works at UQ Gatton Campus. Connar was delighted to hear Glennie now delivers Agricultural Science as a subject at the School.
Special thanks to Holly and the UQ staff and student ambassadors for making our visit to their campus a unique learning experience. It was a thoroughly enjoyable and insightful day.
Mrs Caitlin Berghofer
Middle and Senior Years Teacher