Some students returning to school in the fall might find that the reading list includes vegetable seed packets.
About 25 teachers spent three days around Modesto this week learning how to get lessons about farming and nutrition into their classes.
They toured three businesses. They learned about soil, photosynthesis and DNA. And they heard how students can learn a little math and science by tending a campus garden.
“Make a hypothesis: How long do you think it takes a carrot to sprout?” said Anne Schellman, who works on school gardens and other projects at the University of California Cooperative Extension.
The Teacher Agricultural Science Technology Education Seminars, or TASTES, program was put on for a fourth-straight year by the planners of the Ag Science Center, an interpretive museum envisioned for Modesto Junior College.
The program mostly drew teachers from the Central Valley; two were from Sonoma County. They ranged from second grade to high school.
“It’s a lot more applied than teaching out of a textbook,” said Joe DiGrazia, an agriculture teacher at Turlock High School. “It’s good to keep these kids informed about where their food comes from and the importance of ag to our area.”