OBIC Brings Soy-Based Learning To The Next Generation

June 25, 2018

Biobased products are more readily available than you think. That’s the message 30 Ohio middle school students recently received during the 2018 Soy Smarts Summer Camp. In association with the Ohio Soybean Council, OBIC developed and delivered soy-based interactive educational activities to promote sustainable choices in younger generations.

30 students from Graham Middle School in St. Paris, OH and North Union Middle School in Richwood, OH recently participated in two days of soy-based learning. Receiving one day of in-school programming and one day of tours at Ohio State, students were able to learn about the benefits and uses of soy-based products along with the research that goes into them.

With help from the Ohio Soybean Council, Ohio State educators and researchers, and Grow Next Gen, an organization that focuses on modern agricultural education for the next generation of students, the Soy Smarts Summer Camp was able to make a lasting impact on the students that are beginning to develop their career interests.

OBIC put together interactive lessons like Why Soybeans Are Cool, The Business of Beans, Biodiesel Boat Racing, and Soy Jeopardy.

Dr. Laura Lindsey from The Ohio State University spoke to students about why soybeans are cool and all the benefits that come from this incredible bean. With the help of Grow Next Gen, students learned about biodiesel and developed their own oil combinations to win boat races against their fellow classmates. The races were intense and fun and OBIC is thankful for the wonderful support from the Grow Next Gen interns that made this lesson possible.

Once on campus, students visited the Agronomy Shop, Agriculture Administration, and the Parker Dairy Store. Building on the initial lessons they learned, students received additional programming about soybeans, plants, and making more sustainable choices for their futures.

With the help of the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), students got to hear about the kinds of things admissions is looking for when considering students as well as what majors are available based on interest. Students were happy to hear about the vast array of available majors that are connected to many of the lessons they heard about throughout the week.

The 2018 Soy Smarts Summer Camp came to an end in the best way possible as students boarded their buses back to their schools, with a smile, a thank you, and ice cream.


Soy Smarts Summer Camp is a joint effort between the OBIC Bioproducts Innovation Center and the Ohio Soybean Council. This article was written by Casey Needham, Communications Specialist for OBIC.