Competition teaches high-schoolers agriculture techniques

December 8, 2008

Nearly 1,000 high school students who participate in the FFA Arizona Chapter will compete on Dec. 5 in the annual Mid-Winter Conference Career Development Events (CDEs), hosted by Arizona State University’s Morrison School of Management and Agribusiness at the Polytechnic campus.

Since 1928, the National FFA Organization has taught students and others in Arizona and the nation about agriculture, agricultural technologies, agriculture science and new techniques.

The FFA members representing 80 high schools throughout Arizona will compete at the conference to be recognized state leaders who will then go onto the national FFA competition. These events help prepare students for careers in agriculture.

“The career development events test the abilities of individuals and teams in major areas of agricultural instruction,” said Hunter Williams, Arizona FFA consultant and aeronautical management technology major at ASU.

CDEs are an outgrowth of the curriculum taught in each agricultural education program at high schools and are designed to develop individual responsibilities, foster teamwork and promote communications, while recognizing the value of ethical competition and individual achievement.

“Many times, the career development events help to demonstrate the meaningful connections between classroom instruction and real-life scenarios for these students,” said Williams.

CDEs give young people the knowledge needed for more than 300 diverse careers in the food, fiber and natural resources industries, according to Williams.

“By delivering an integrated model of education through classroom learning, real-world work experience and activities designed to promote personal growth, FFA and agricultural education help students discover and plan their own unique route to future success,” he said.

Students who win at the state level will have an opportunity to travel to the national competition next year. National competition winners receive scholarships for college.

Those competing from Arizona can become state officers while they are in college, representing the FFA at high schools throughout Arizona during the year. They also meet with state legislators twice a year to lobby for agriculture education and their support.

For more information about the event, visit">">

FFA Media Contact: Hunter Williams, (480) 734-6690, hunter.williams">">
ASU Media Contact: Christine Lambrakis, (480) 727-1173, (602) 316-5616, lambrakis">"> Download Full Image

'Nanojewels' research earns magazine cover story

December 8, 2008

The cover story of a recent special edition of the science and engineering journal Advanced Materials features research by Antonio Garcia, professor in the Harrington Department of Bioengineering and director of the Laboratory for Personalized Molecule Measurement, and Manuel Marquez, an adjunct faculty member in the department.

The cover shows optical microscopy images of drying droplets from aqueous suspensions of monodisperse latex or latex/gold nanoparticle mixtures dispensed on superhydrophobic substrates.

The article reports on the synthesis of light-diffracting assemblies obtained from microspheres and nanoparticles in droplets on a superhydrophobic surface.

Colloidal crystals are formed in the surface layer of the droplets due to the flux of evaporating water. The colloidal crystals give rise to multicolored diffraction patterns upon illumination with collimated white light. Once completely dried, these templates yield structured nanojewel supraparticles.

As more nanoparticles and nanostructures come into the marketplace, technologies that can quickly assemble the structures so that their unique size and properties can be employed in new devices will be important to the growth of nanotechnology and industries using nanomaterials, especially optical technologies.

To read more, see">">http://www.fulto.... Download Full Image

Joe Kullman

Science writer, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering