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Agriculture and Life Sciences Youth Camp

2020-06-30l Hit 1024

The fourth “Agriculture and Life Sciences Youth Camp” this year was held for three nights and four days from January 14-17, 2020. The purpose of the camp was to provide high school students an opportunity to experience majors in the field of Agriculture and Life Sciences, enhance their understanding of agriculture and life sciences, and train a future generation for creating new values. In total, 40 students who were recommended by the principals of high schools across the country stayed at the college campus and took specialized experiments and lecture programs provided by the college.

Four graduates of the Department of Agricultural and Vocational Education and four students of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences were selected to form a group of mentors. The purpose of the mentoring was to create positive attitudes through building a mentor–mentee relationship, enhance overall understanding, and arouse interest. Moreover, the attendees conducted two experiments conducted in each field of life science (artificial insemination and stem cells and photosynthesis and breathing) and environmental science (wild birds and cellulose derivatives) and attended three special lectures with professors in the majors.

After the completion of the program, a survey to assess the satisfaction level was conducted and the attendees’ feedback was collected. The overall satisfaction level with the program was 4.82 points (out of 5 points), showing a higher result than the camp last year. In particular, the survey showed that the attendees had the highest expectation for experiments, which was satisfied through the program. The mentor–mentee activity program showed a high level of satisfaction since the relationship building among group members through “Learning CALS” and experience reflection was successful. However, “Learning CALS Program” operated and led by individual mentors received much feedback about the mentors having high burdens; however, the level of interest among undergraduate students in the Agriculture and Life Sciences Youth Camp increased as well. Thus, it seems necessary to supplement the program by increasing the number of mentors in the future.

Jung-Hoon Lim, a teaching assistant at the Admission and Career Information Center who took charge of the youth camp, confirmed that two changes were made in the fourth Agriculture and Life Sciences Youth Camp compared with that of last year. First, the interest in the camp significantly increased all over the country, indicated by approximately 340 volunteering students in the recruitment, generating a competitive ratio close to 9:1, etc. Second, content, interest of students, and recent trends in agriculture and life sciences were incorporated into the content to make changes to some experiments, practices, and special lectures. Lim added, “Since the level of satisfaction for the program turned out high, the youth camp this time is evaluated as an overall success. Also, if we take a look at the reflection and the quality of experience result report meeting, which represent the output of the camp by the students, I think that we derived a result that corresponds to the focus and purpose of the program.” He also states that because the agriculture and life sciences is quite a challenging and promising academic and industrial field for addressing methods to solve the current problems we are facing, he wishes that the camp could provide solutions to resolve the students’ concerns regarding their academic path and interest in agriculture and life sciences.

Figure 1. Entrance ceremony of agriculture and life sciences youth camp

Written by Si-Eun Yoo, So-Yeong Heo
Student Press of College of Agriculture and Life Sciences