From the Classroom

Lead Teachers Attend Bio World Congress in Iowa

Blog Post by Chris Remmich, Lead teacher for Kansas Corn Seed to STEM.

Four lead teachers from the Kansas Corn Seed to STEM program had the opportunity to attend the Bio World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology and AgTech held in Des Moines, IA. We kicked off this conference with a tour of Corteva’s demonstration field plots that allowed us to walk alongside all the different corn varieties from around the world – a true corn paradise! There was even an area dedicated to the historical varieties of corn, starting with teosinte! The tour concluded with a behind-the-scenes look into their seed treatment facility and a stroll through their pollinator garden. We then trekked over to Bayer’s Huxley Learning Center where we were treated to an interactive tour that took us through the historical progression and current cutting-edge practices and technology used in the areas of seed science, precision equipment and data science. One of the highlights being the corn seed chipper that can take a small sample from the kernel in order to sequence its genetic profile before being planted! These were amazing facilities led by people who loved to share their knowledge and experiences in the agriculture and biotech industries.

The next two days were spent attending wonderful breakout sessions where we learned about the current advancements in the fields of genetics and gene-editing, bioenergy, synthetic biology, and alternative protein sources – all dedicated to to the mission of improving the quality of life for humans and animals by creating a more sustainable ecosystem for the feeding and fueling of our planet. We met exhibitors that were excited to share their company’s mission and available resources that could be used in the education of our students. One of the biggest impacts this conference had on us, along with the deepening and widening of our knowledge base, were the incredible contacts we made with individuals in this industry. We interacted with people from across the pond ranging from Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Asia to those closer to home such as California and all over the Midwest. We had discussions over an incredible multitude of topics as well as Kansas Corn’s mission to bring agriculture into the classrooms of Kansas which was met with much praise and enthusiasm.

We would like to give a special thanks to Sharon Thielen and Erin Rios for providing us this opportunity and to Josh Roe for his hospitality, the sharing of his knowledge and insights into the word of agriculture and for introducing us to the many passionate people who work in this industry.

Teachers who attended include:

Chris Remmich, Lead teacher for Kansas Corn Seed to STEM, Garden City High School, Garden City

Shelly Robinson, Lead teacher for Kansas Corn Seed to STEM, Santa Fe Trail High School, Carbondale

James Burk, Lead teacher for Kansas Corn Seed to STEM, Trego Community High School, WaKeeney

Brian Nelson, Lead teacher for Kansas Corn Seed to STEM, Hadley Middle School, Wichita