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By the U of A System Division of AgricultureApril 5, 2019
(437 words)(Download this story in MS Word format here.)
JONESBORO, Ark. — A Salem High School junior has won the Soybean Science Challenge
at the 2019 Northeast Arkansas Regional Science Fair, held at Arkansas State University-Jonesboro,
on March 8.
Cooper Bassham, 17, took first place with his project, “Use of biological control
agents to inhibit the growth of phytopathogenic bacteria,” for which the Arkansas
Soybean Promotion Board awarded him $300. The project also received several other
awards, including first place in the plant science category, the Air Force Award,
the ASM: Material Education Foundation Award, and second place overall in the “Best
of Fair” category.
Bassham’s teacher, Amanda Smith, won the $200 Soybean Science Challenge Teacher Mentor
Award. Smith said The Soybean Science Challenge was an exciting opportunity for her
“Soybeans are a vital crop for farmers in Arkansas and directly affect my students’
lives,” Smith said. “Using the Soybean Science Challenge in the classroom has also
met a lot of my students’ learning goals.”
Both Smith and Bassham said the impact the competition introduced them to the surprising
complexity of the world of soybean agriculture.
“Prior to my participation in the Soybean Science Challenge, I had very little knowledge
about Arkansas soybeans and their incredibly far-reaching range of influence,” Bassham
Smith said her prior knowledge about farming soybeans was limited, as well.
Dr. Julie Robinson, assistant professor of instructional design for the University
of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, said the Soybean Science Challenge provides
an opportunity for Arkansas high school students to participate in scientific research
that can impact both the state and the world.
“The Soybean Science Challenge provides an opportunity for Arkansas High School students
to participate in scientific research that can impact the State of Arkansas as well
as the world,” Robinson said. “Soybean Science Challenge student researchers learn
about this important commodity crop and its many uses including feeding the world,
development of biofuels and sustainable products. The Soybean Science Challenge helps
students develop an understanding of the challenges and complexities of modern farming.”
The Arkansas Soybean Science Challenge was launched in January 2014 to science students
in grades 9-12. Participants are required to complete an online course in soybean
education in order to have their original soybean-related research projects judged
at Arkansas science and engineering fairs affiliated with ISEF, the International
Science and Engineering Fair.
Information on the 2019-2020 Arkansas Soybean Science Challenge will be available
in summer 2019. For more information, contact Dr. Julie Robinson at email@example.com or Diedre Young at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn about science and farming education in Arkansas, contact your local Cooperative
Extension Service agent or visit www.uaex.uada.edu. Follow us on Twitter at @UAEX_edu.
About the Division of Agriculture
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen
agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption
of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative
Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work
within the nation’s historic land grant education system.
The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas
System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension
and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex,
gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital
or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and
is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
# # #
Media Contact: Mary HightowerDir. of Communication ServicesU of A System Division of AgricultureCooperative Extension Service(501) email@example.com