SAN ANTONIO, Texas – On Wednesday, KSAT 12 introduced you to two young ladies from Madison High School's magnet program who are trying to patent a product they say will make flowers stay fresh longer. This award-winning product has brought attention to both the two students and their former school. Meteorologist Kaiti Blake visited Madison High and found out more about the field of agriscience on this week's Blake's Brainiacs.
Kaiti had to know: How did such a cool project idea - one waiting to be patented, nonetheless - come to be? First and foremost, it took a lot of hard work on the part of the two young ladies, Hannah and Ashley. They'll both tell you, however, that they couldn't have done it on their own.
"We had the help of our teachers, and they're very supportive of us," Ashley said.
One of those teachers, Tyler Price, is an agriscience teacher at Madison High School. Price knows Hannah and Ashley well. He was able to coach and teach them during their time in high school.
We asked Price an important question first: wWat is agriscience?
"Agriscience is really the study of just everything agriculture," Price said.
That includes animals, plants, and soils, as well as the math and business tools that go into managing those animals, plants, and soils.
Many agriscience students care for live animals, such as swine, steers, sheep, and goats. Many participate in the National FFA Organization at Madison High, a point of pride for the Agriscience Magnet Program. Take a quick look around the campus, and you'll quickly lose count of all the blue banners awarded to FFA teams for over 50 years.
While the magnet program at Madison doesn't have a football team, it does have FFA teams, and Price said they work just as hard in preparing for their competitions. "That's our time to get out and compete and showcase our students just like football teams do every Friday night."
But it's not all about animals.
Students also prepare for careers in education, communication, and business - things that are a bigger part of agriculture than people may think.
"Agriculture is a business, whether you're raising an animal or you're raising a crop," said Price.
Students take core subjects, such as biology, chemistry, and math but with an ag twist.
Take ag math, for example. In that class, Price said students may work on, "calculating fertilizer rations, all these different things, you know? Apply it to ag and show students how you would use that in the real world."
Price understands that when people think of science, technology, engineering, and math, or STEM, they may not think of agriscience right away. However, he'd like that to change. "There is business, there is math, there is record keeping that's involved in agriculture. So, definitely, agriculture falls under that STEM umbrella."
Some classes, activities, and opportunities available to students through Madison's Agriscience Magnet Program include:
- Advanced animal science courses
- Advanced soil science courses
- Ag business courses
- Ag math courses
- Floral design courses
- FFA competitions at state and national levels
- Industry certifications & licenses, such as ServSafe food certification, floral certifications, and veterinary assistant licenses