Don’t Be A Pest – bESTology Week 10

Published by rrfenton on

Don’t Be A Pest – bESTology Week 10



 Farmers have to deal with pests everyday. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a pest is any biological organism, including weeds, pathogens, and arthropods, that interferes with the production of crops affecting quality and/or yield.

Pests come in all shape and sizes. Let’s not forget fungi, nematodes, mites, bacteria, viruses, mice and rodents.

Farmers around the world must use crop protection products such as herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, etc. to help control the thousands of weed species, harmful insects, and plant diseases that can afflict crops. Farmers face these challenges each growing season. 

According to the Food Journal and Food, Nutrition and Science, not only do farmers have to battle weeds that compete with crops for nutrients, sunlight and water, but other living organisms need food for survival also. Many insects eat plants. There are over 500,000 insect species that feed on growing green plants.

bESTology will take a closer look at being a steward of the land while controlling pests and generating a food supply. Being a farmer can be a Pest-y business.



Let’s look at the big picture. Using the Internet, collect 20 or more photos of pests and create a collage using PowerPoint. Display your collage and grainstorm with others how to control each pest. Discuss how control methods would vary depending on the size of the farm and their impact on ground water and other living organisms.

Create a second collage showing pictures of control methods for each pest. Compare and contrast the groups of controls. Continue your grainstorming discussion using the collages as a foundation to reflect on the environmental impact, food safety and cost to the farmer among other factors.

Share your collage with friends and family to continue this Pest-y discussion.

BEST Farm Journal

Let’s add to your Silo activity from bESTology Week 2! Sketch three new silos labeled herbicides, pesticides and fungicides. Research and evaluate products on the market and add the product names to the appropriate silo.

Choose one product from each of these three silos and search for its Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). Use your journal to chart the physical/chemical characteristics, explosion and health hazards, safe handling and use and control measures.

Conclude with a reflective paragraph including the necessities of pest control substances as well as the dangers and concerns.

Challenge: Identify items on the 2015 BEST consumable kit that could possibly have a MSDS. Search the Internet for their data sheet(s) and post each MSDS in your team’s work area. Remember, safety comes first when participating in BEST!

BEST Connection

Each year, the BEST engineering notebook requires research connecting the BEST game theme to real-world science and technology. Recently, bESTology has connected the 2016 game theme (farming and agriculture) with seed crops and genetic engineering, high tech farm equipment, advancements in irrigation systems and more.

As a starting point, research the historic progression of pesticides, famous inventors and major milestones. Bring it closer to home by correlating your research to the impact on local, regional or farms within your state.

Save the materials for your Bet The Farm team.

Community Connection

How Pest-y is your community and what businesses and industries are based on these local pests? Contact a farm insurance agency and discuss hazards and concerns local farmers are faced with and what mitigation steps they can take. Continue your exploration by contacting your local Sierra Club or other environmental group and identify their concerns of the potentially harmful effects of mitigation. Share a summary of your findings with your teammates and create a list of solutions or suggestions of how to control the pests while being stewards of the environment.

Fertilizer for the Brain

bESTology is a “pest” and wants you to keep learning. Research and answer the following questions:

  • What year did the Ancient Sumerians begin using sulfur compounds to kill insects?
  • What did the Chinese use in 300 B.C. for pest control?
  • What did the Chinese do with soap in 1101 A.D.?
  • What beetle changed America in the 1860’s?
  • What was Paris Green?
  • What is a Bt crop?

Have fun researching and we will see you on the BEST Facebook page soon to post your answers!

Bloom’s Taxonomy: add, answer, brainstorm, chart, choose, collect, compare, conclude, contact, contrast, correlate, create, discuss, display, evaluate, identify, label, post, reflect, research, save, share, search, show, sketch, suggest, summary, use, write

Workforce Skills: reading comprehension, active listening, critical thinking, speaking, active learning, writing, complex problem solving, science, judgment and decision-making

Download a PDF copy of Don’t Be A Pest – bESTology Week 10 – Click HERE

Are your BEST friends participating in bESTology?  Hints each week about the upcoming game – have  your BEST friends join in on the fun!

While the information contained in this website has been compiled from sources believed to be current and reliable, Friends of BEST in Alabama, Inc. (FBA) cannot be held responsible for any errors, omissions or content changes. Links made from this website are to reputable organizations at the time of posting. However, FBA cannot be held responsible for content on such linked websites. The existence of such links does not represent an endorsement by FBA of any views expressed or products or services offered.


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