Winters FFA adapts to the pandemic

Pre-pandemic a floriculter student adds the finishing touches to her sunflower arrangement. After class the students delivered the flowers to Winters High School staff and teachers. Crystal Apilado/Winters Express

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By Ava Skinner, Winters FFA Reporter
Special to the Express

Winters FFA is usually a hands-on class, where students can weld, arrange flowers, build sheds, and compete in public speaking contests. However, like much of the country, agriculture classes have been turned upside down by the coronavirus pandemic once schools closed down and switched to a distance-learning format.

The Winters High School agriculture teachers are doing their best to continue to provide hands-on learning opportunities for students during distance learning. Students have been able to pick up materials and supplies for hand-on work at home. Floriculture students have created beautiful designs, ag mechanics students have learned how to complete electrical circuits and welding students have been learning how to create plans for projects using computer software.

Also, The Winters FFA Chapter is getting creative on how to provide students with a comprehensive virtual agricultural experience during this pandemic. 

FFA meetings are now hosted over Zoom, with over 60 members attending the last one. After the meeting, everyone played a virtual game together (on their computers), where winners were awarded prizes. 

On Thursday, Oct. 8, members of the leadership class attended a meeting on how to engage members and increase participation virtually during distance learning. Students learned how to use social media platforms to connect with members, and learned the best ways to get people to come to Zoom meetings are creating pre-meeting buzz to get students excited about attending, featuring faces to build community, and boosting belonging to make everyone welcome in the chapter. 

Winters FFA is looking to utilize these tools in the future to provide students with a fun virtual Halloween activity. Follow Winters FFA at https://www.instagram.com/wintersffa to see what’s next in their chapter.

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