Sae Project Essay Grader

101 S.A.E. Ideas:



  1. Create a plant growth experiment by altering different soil types or some other variable 
  2. Create a plant growth experiment by altering environmental factors such as light, temperature, fertilizers or different types of music. 
  3. Construct a landscape project such as a wall or fence.
  4. Construct a landscape project such as a fountain or arbor. 
  5. Construct a landscape project such as a walkway or patio addition.
  6. Develop a method to build a window boxes for flowers.
  7. Plant seasonal flowers at your home, school or community 
  8. Adopt a stream in the community.  Keep accurate records and data.
  9. Adopt a section of road in the community.
  10. Adopt a subdivision entrance and improve its appearance. 
  11. Adopt a park in the community.
  12. Identify and compare the trees or wild plants in your neighborhood.
  13. Research and write news articles that will increase the public awareness about horticulture.
  14. Create a landscape plan for your home, subdivision entrance or place of business.
  15. Create an educational video about almost any topic relevant to agriculture or natural resources.
  16. Create a movie with characters about a horticulture topic, environmental concern or success.
  17. Create a photo essay about a horticulture topic, environmental concern or success story.
  18. Conduct a plant experiment using hydroponics.
  19. Make a collection of pressed leaves identified at your neighborhood, school or community 
  20. Create a detailed web page for an agri-business company or organization.
  21. Conduct an experiment with different treatment of seeds.
  22. Conduct interviews of different horticulture job opportunities in our area.
  23. Visit commercial greenhouse operations and report back with an educational video.
  24. Build a portable home plant propagation tent and conduct root experiments.
  25. Build a “cold frame” for germinating seedlings in the winter time.
  26. Visit public gardens in our area and report back with photos, interview or video.
  27. Experiment with the grafting or layering techniques of fruit trees and different plants.
  28. Prepare the soil properly and conduct your home research planting flower bulbs such as tulips. 
  29. Research the certified organic gardening industry in Georgia.  Compare crops. 
  30. Conduct your own experiment growing small trees in the Bonsai technique.
  31. Develop a plan to produce, market and sell terrariums for holiday gifts.
  32. Compare the effects of different herbicides (weed killers) on various plants.
  33. Research the interior plant leasing business and compare results.
  34. Create a business of providing teachers with constant desk flowers for a monthly fee.
  35. Interview adults who work in an environmental or horticulture field.
  36. Prepare a scrap book or video about a career field that interests you. 
  37. Create a student coop to raise funds for our class.  Sell a product or a service.
  38. Develop a pet sitting or plant sitting business for people out of town.
  39. Start up a small business of selling firewood.
  40. Start up a small business of lawn care in your neighborhood. 
  41. Start up a small business of leaf removal in your neighborhood.
  42. Create your own personal business that suits YOUR skills or interests.
  43. Work as an employee or volunteer intern at a nursery.
  44. Work an as employee or volunteer intern at a vet clinic, stable or farm.
  45. Raise honey bees.
  46. Build a compost bin for recycling home organic wastes.
  47. Begin planting a small orchard of fruit trees at your home or community.
  48. Start up a small business of providing pine straw to the neighborhood.
  49. Research different types of landscape tools and demonstrate their use.
  50. Research landscaping equipment such as Bobcats and backhoes and video their usage.
  51. Research the golf course industry.  Visit different courses and explain their construction 
  52. Research the athletic field industry.  Visit different fields and explain their construction.
  53. Develop a grounds maintenance program for football fields, baseball fields, etc. 
  54. Demonstrate how computers can be used in the landscape design industry. 
  55. Develop a recycling program for home or community.
  56. Study entomology and make an impressive insect collection for display.
  57. Study a wildlife concern in our community and demonstrate its effect on our lives.
  58. Create a detailed.Power Point Presentation on almost any environmental topic.
  59. Work as a volunteer or employee at a florist and share what you have learned.
  60. Develop a nature trail or help to improve a nature trail that you know of.
  61. Research the hobby of drying flowers and demonstrate your findings.
  62. Research different forestry projects in our state and report your findings.
  63. Visit different types of greenhouses and compare different types.
  64. Study Christmas tree production in Georgia and the profits that can be made 
  65. Identify a need and coordinate a fall tree planting event in the community.
  66. Visit pumpkin farms in our area, interview the growers and give a program on pumpkins. 
  67. Refurbish an old lawn mower or landscaping tool.
  68. Create a welded sculpture using old rusted garden tools
  69. Compare wholesale nurseries and retail nurseries in our area.
  70. Interview public servants such as Foresters, Extension Agents, Arborists, etc.
  71. Work or volunteer at a zoo, public garden or nature center and report about the jobs available.
  72. Work or volunteer as an intern at a veterinary hospital.
  73. Develop an herb garden.
  74. Create a musical production focuses on Georgia agri-business or natural resource issue.
  75. Find out what are the native or endangered plants or animals in our area and report back.
  76. Start up a small business of holiday wreaths, bows or services.
  77. Start a crop of strawberries, grapes or blueberries from start to finish.
  78. Research the industry of agriculture communications, interview public figures, video.
  79. Research  the value of “Math in Horticulture” and demonstrate its many applications. 
  80. Interview landscaping company employees and demonstrate their duties.
  81. Research a particular family of native plants and illustrate where they grow.
  82. Install a small section of nightscaping lamps at your home or deck area.
  83. Interview 2 landscape architects and demonstrate symbols and lettering methods.
  84. Identify and label the trees or shrubs found on campus, park or community area.
  85. Overhaul a piece of landscape equipment such as mower, wheelbarrow or other tools 
  86. Rebuild a small engine.
  87. Research and video poinsettia crop production.
  88. Work in a florist and document what you find out.
  89. Determine if the phases of the moon have an effect on plant growth.
  90. Compare different rooting hormones on root development.
  91. Analyze the effectiveness of different display methods on plant sales at a garden center.
  92. Demonstrate the impact of different levels of soil acidity on plant growth. 
  93. Develop an advertising campaign for an agri-business.
  94. Attend an agricultural field day event. 
  95. Renovate or restock a fish pond. 
  96. Almost anything relating computer technology to horticulture.
  97. Cutting and selling firewood with a chain saw. 
  98. Changing oil in mowers, tillers or other equipment 

100.Create almost any stimulating, exploring, experimenting, educational agri-topic project !






Hi Roger!


Great questions/points. The research that was shared with us was by James R. Stone III, who is the director of the National Center for Career and Technical Education. I am mostly relaying what he had to conveyed to us in his presentation at our national summit in 2014 in Indianapolis. I have found a lot of his publications just by Googling his name but I don't have them handy at the moment (as all ag teachers say, "It's around here somewhere..." ); I just now tried to find some of the studies he cited then, but after 2 years I can't remember exactly what to search so I would need more time to track it down.


That being said, I have experienced a lot of his points on an anecdotal basis in my own practice, as I am sure other instructors have as well. I used to require all 70 of my intro students to complete a proficiency application, and very few found that format to be helpful to them. Granted I work in a district that is a mix of suburban and rural students, but even those with a strong farm background sometimes questioned why we spent a week filling out these onerous forms. Now that we use the SCE packet that I attached above, I get almost no questions as to why we are doing it; its value is self-evident to my students. It was designed this way in good part because of Stone's critiques of our FFA award applications and the potentially greater value that they could have with less emphasis on record keeping and increased emphasis on reflection, goal setting, and seeking experiences that have specific measurable value to their college and career goals.


So to address your point, you are exactly correct - this will not help a student with FFA award applications in the way that a program like AET will. In my program, our participation in award programs has noticeably dropped as a result. However, from my perspective the career preparation that my students when they leave me at graduation is far, far, greater than it ever was before when we placed more emphasis on these awards. For my two cents, our current state is much more preferable to the way things used to be, and as a result I both feel more effective as an instructor and have less frustration at the end of the day because I get much more buy-in from my students.


Interestingly, I also had a slight bump in our level participation in CDE events. I think this is in part due to the fact that when students begin a class with me, they have a very career intention by the second or third week of the semester, and I can better motivate them to participate in FFA competitions when I can show how it relates to this new career that they are excited for. So, it has been a double-edged sword, with increased FFA participation in some areas and decreased participation in others. In the end, though, I am very happy with the level of preparation my students now have and in my particular situation, this has worked very well for us.

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