Arkansas Soybean Science Challenge
Get involved . . . make a difference.
See the Soy Scholars: 2017 Research Winners
The Soybean Science Challenge is a farmer-funded, statewide, high school education program that seeks to increase student knowledge about the value of Arkansas soybeans to the Arkansas economy, to the labor force, and ultimately to feed and fuel the world.
The Challenge is co-sponsored by the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board and the University of Arkansas System, Division of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service.
In three short years the Challenge has reached thousands of students and teachers through real-time and on-line education, in-service training, Virtual Field Trips, classroom lab instruction, Arkansas-based educational publications, mentoring, and awards for independent student research.
Eligibility: Students in grades 9-12 who successfully complete the Soybean Science Challenge online course and enter a science project in one of the ISEF affiliated fairs are eligible for consideration of cash awards. Applied science projects will be considered from the categories of: biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, energy and transportation, environmental management, environmental sciences, microbiology, and plant sciences.
Congratulations to Mohammed A. at Pulaski Academy in Little Rock, AR.
Mohammed won the 2017 Soybean Science Challenge $1,000 Arkansas State Science Fair award at the University of Central Arkansas, Conway and the $300 award at the Central Arkansas Regional Science and Engineering Fair at the University of Arkansas - Little Rock.
Project Title: The Effects of Ionizing Radiation on Glycine max (soybean) Radicle Length, Stem Length, and Dry Weight Biomass. This study investigated the effects of ionizing radiation on Glycine max radicle length, stem length, and dry weight biomass in order to analyze its effects on early stages of soybean growth. Read more about Mohammed.
project DNA was isolated using a mortar and pestle to determine if GMO genes spread from weeds to crops naturally. Read more about Madeline here.
Congratulations to Harli S. at Avilla Christian Academy in Alexander, AR. Harli won the $300 Soybean Science Challenge Award at the 2017 at the Ouachita Mountains Regional Science & Engineering Fair at Mid-America Museum.
Project Title: Espressoy. Soybeans and caffeine are two completely different items. In this experiment, I decided to put them together to see what effect caffeine would have on soybean growth. Learn more about Harli.
Congratulations to Ivan H. at Alma High School. Ivan won the $300 Soybean Science Challenge Award at the 2017 Northwest Arkansas Regional Science & Engineering Fair at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville on March 3rd.
Project Title: Crop Dusting Attachment for Drones. The purpose of this project was to design and prototype a module that could be used in conjunction with a drone to apply fertilizer or pesticides to crops. Learn more about Ivan.
Congratulations to Natalie B. at Ridgway Christian High School in Pine Bluff. Natalie won the $300 Soybean Science Challenge Award at the 2017 Southeast Arkansas Regional Science Fair at the University of Arkansas-Monticello.
Project Title: Why So Salty? The purpose of this experiment was to find out what soybean variety can cope best
with the salt
in groundwater used for irrigation. Learn more about Natalie.
Congratulations to Shelby R. at Emerson High School. Shelby won the $300 Soybean Science Challenge Award at the 2017 Southwest Arkansas Regional Science Fair at the Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia.
Project Title: The Most Beneficial Component of Fertilizers. This experiment was conducted to compare the benefits of the elements in fertilizers to soybeans. Learn more about Shelby.
Congratulations to Darrin M. at Buffalo Island Central High School. Darrin won the $300 Soybean Science Challenge Award at the 2017 Northeast Arkansas Regional Science Fair at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro.
Project Title: “Analyzing the Effects of Anionic Polyacrylamide on Row Crop Health and Emergence.” This experiment was conducted to analyze growth, health, and emergence rates of common row crops under ideal conditions with applications of polyacrylamide. Learn more about Darrin.
Looking for science project research ideas?
The Arkansas Soybean Research Studies Series includes research reports on topics pertaining to soybeans across several disciplines from breeding to post-harvest processing.
The Soybean Science Challenge is made possible through a partnership with the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board and funding generously provided through Arkansas farmer’s soy checkoff funds.
Play the Game!
Game courtesy of the United Soybean Board - Beyond the Elevator.com
(Adobe Flash Player is required to play the game. You can get Adobe's Flash Player here)
For more information on the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board, visit their website themiraclebean.com
As part of the Soybean Science Challenge Arkansas students and teachers have a unique opportunity to request and obtain soybean seeds for applied student research. The seeds, which are all Arkansas varieties, are being provided by the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences Department seed breeders at the University of Arkansas - Fayetteville.
- Get Your FREE Soybean Seeds!
Students, parents or teachers can complete the request form and receive up to 500 free soybean seeds to support student research projects.
Three different types of seed/varieties that you can request include:
- Conventional Soybeans
- Roundup Ready Soybeans
- Tofu (food grade) Soybeans
E-Mail your soybean seed order to Tina Hart at the e-mail address provided below or click the following link to complete the online form.
We look forward to seeing the exciting research your students will conduct using this seed.
Questions about soybean seeds?
It's never too early to plant the seeds of science education!
Students who successfully complete the course are eligible for:
- $300 cash awards at Arkansas Regional Science Fairs for original science research projects impacting the soybean industry.
- $1,000 cash award to top soybean research at Arkansas State Science & Engineering Fair
- Teachers of student winners receive a $200 Teacher Mentor Award.
Learn more through this free online science course about the importance of soybean production to the Arkansas economy as a renewable resource for feed, fuel and food across the world.
- Enroll now!
The link below will take you to the University of Arkansas Extension online courses site where you will need to select the course you want to complete. This site will walk you through the steps to create a unique student user account to access the course. You will need to save the user name and password you create for yourself to access the Soybean Science Challenge course.
- Get "Homegrown" Teacher Curriculum Guide
Need some “grab & go” content to supplement your curriculum?
Want to help students make a real-world connection to the science behind Arkansas agriculture?
Take a look at the “homegrown” curriculum resources available to you through the Soybean Science Challenge.
The link below will take you to the UA Extension online courses site where you will need to select:
The next page will walk you through the steps to create a unique user account to access the online teacher curriculum resources. You will need to save the user name and password you create for yourself to access these resources and/or the online teacher in-service in the future.
- Soybean Teacher Resources
The Soybean Science Challenge student course educates Arkansas secondary students about soybean uses, as well as, current soil, water, seed, disease, and insect issues that impact production outcomes and agricultural sustainability.
The Soybean Science Challenge Teacher In-Service provides seven (7) hours of ADE approved in-service credit to Arkansas teachers through the University of Arkansas, Division of Agriculture, and Cooperative Extension Service. This course is designed to be a teacher’s guide and companion to the student course, targeted to 9th – 12th grade science students.
The link below will take you to the UA Extension online courses site where you will need to select:
The next page will walk you through the steps to create a unique user account to access the online teacher course. You will need to save the user name and password you create for yourself to access these resources and/or the online teacher in-service in the future.
Soybean Science Challenge - Video Vault
2015 Soybean Science Challenge Videos
Virtual Field Trip: Behind the Scenes
In Our Own Voices: Student SSC Participants
Virtual Field Trip: Gardens of the Galaxy - The Battle for Food in the Future Video
2014 Soybean Science Challenge Videos
Breaking New Ground: Virtual Field Trips Broadcast From a Soybean Field
On August 7th and September 30, 2014 Virtual Field Trips were broadcast live over Zoom from Arkansas soybean fields.
9/30/2014 - View the Virtual Field Trip
Soy What's Up? NASA Resources
The Arkansas Soybean Science Challenge program includes:
- Online Soybean Science Challenge course for 9-12th high-school students
- Cash awards for high-school science projects impacting sustainability
- Teacher curriculum resources and ADE approved online in-service training
- Virtual field trips & soybean science mentoring support
- Soybean Seed Store for support of student research
- 2015 VFT - Gardens of the Galaxy - The Battle for Food in the Future
- 2014 VFT - Breaking New Ground
The August 7, 2014 topic was Soybean Bugnados! Insects & Agriculture presented by U of A graduate student Ben Thrash. Gus Lorenz, associate department head and extension entomologist, joined Ben in the field for the 25-minute question and answer session which followed. Students submitted over 50 questions through the Zoom chat room. Angie Freel, Arkansas 4-H science and curriculum coordinator, along with county agents, recruited high school 4-H volunteers to test pilot the VFT. Twenty-eight participants accessed the tour from a PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone or Android device.
The September 30, 2014 topic was Nematode Nemesis presented by Dr. Terry Kirkpatrick along with Shannon Davis. Broadcast live from the Bono, Arkansas, farm of Shannon Davis, students from 15 different counties learned firsthand about how nematodes affect soybeans. Along with Kirkpatrick and Davis, Extension Staff Chairs Randy Chlapecka and Ray Benson answered questions on camera and Soybean Agronomist Jeremy Ross and County Extension Agent Dave Freeze answered through the chat window.
The broadcast utilized a blend of technology. Opening intro and outro videos were produced off site by Blake Bennett, SSC educator and videographer. More than 450 students and teachers from 15 schools across the state have had a unique opportunity to go to the field and not get dirty, as the Cooperative Extension Service brought a science field trip into their homes and classrooms.
Have questions only a nematologist can answer?
Contact Dr. Terry Kirkpatrick - Professor/Extension Plant Pathologist at (870) 777-9702 ext. 111 or email@example.com.
Watch the nematode extraction process