5/4/2012 at 12:00 a.m.
LITTLE ROCK — Patrick Millard, a seventh-grade science teacher at Waldron Middle School, is Arkansas Farm Bureau’s 2012 Ag in the Classroom Outstanding Teacher. Millard was recognized during a special ceremony at the school May 2.
Farm Bureau established the award in 2006 to recognize teachers who have exemplary programs which integrate agricultural concepts into their curricula.
Millard graduated from Arkansas Tech University in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture and obtained a master’s degree in education in 2004 from the University of Arkansas at Monticello. He joined the faculty at Waldron Middle School in 2002 as a sixth-grade math teacher, then began teaching seventh-grade science classes in 2006.
Millard’s goal is to ensure his students learn and understand the importance of agriculture in their everyday lives. To help gain an understanding of where their food comes from he involves them in a NASA program called, “Tomatosphere.” It involved testing the germination rates of regular tomato seeds against seeds the space agency “had tampered with.” One seed set spent 18 months on the international space station. NASA’s program was designed to test all possible variables in growing produce on the space shuttle. Millard says the Tomatosphere project suited his needs because students not only learned how to grow produce, they learned about space as well. They also learned the importance of sample size, controls and long-term data collection.
Millard also includes a chicken incubation project each year to teach the students about the various stages of embryonic development.
“I rely on my agricultural background and knowledge gained while working in the poultry and beef industries,” Millard says. “When discussing genetics I refer to hybridizations in cattle or horses or when dissecting flowers I bring in corn stalks to demonstrate how pollen falls from the tassel to the silks. This is what I am comfortable with and it’s relevant to me and my students.”
As the 2012 AITC Outstanding Teacher, Millard receives an expense-paid trip to Denver to represent Arkansas at the National Ag in the Classroom Conference, June 19-22. Click Photo for High Resolution Version
Patrick Millard (second from left with plaque), a seventh-grade science teacher at Waldron Middle School, was presented the 2012 Ag in the Classroom Outstanding Teacher award at the school May 3. With him (left to right) are: Dan Wright, Scott County Farm Bureau President, Laurie Richardson, Scott County women's committee chair and Angie Hunsucker, women's committee member.
Arkansas Farm Bureau is a nonprofit, private advocacy organization of more than 210,000 families throughout the state working to improve farm and rural life.
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