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Fueled by Soybeans

I participated in a super fun breakout session all about soybeans during the 2020 virtual National Ag in the Classroom Conference. Presenters from American Farm Bureau Foundation for Ag and Ford Motors demonstrated the many uses for soybeans and how to easily integrate soybeans into lessons relating to STEM.

Our virtual middle school lesson, Fueled by Soybeans, was modified with the resources provided during the NAITC conference.

Lesson objective: Students will explore the history of Ford Motor and discover how soybeans play a large role in the production of cars today.

Corn and soybean fields can be seen for miles when traveling through our beautiful state but why do Iowa farmers grow so many fields of soybeans? The soybean is a species of legume native to East Asia, widely grown for its edible bean, which has numerous uses. Soybeans can be harvested fresh or immaturely, this is known as edamame. Soybeans in Iowa tend to be harvested during the last stage in the lifecycle, the mature stage. We grow soy as a grain to feed animals, fuel trucks (biodiesel) and to produce products like; soy milk, tofu, vegetable oil, crayons, candles, etc.

Did you know there are 30,521 soybeans in every vehicle? And I am not talking in the fuel tank! Ford Motor explained that soybeans are used to make plastic, in fact, there are over 300 lbs of soy plastic in every Ford car and truck! Soybeans can also be found in the seat cushions, head rests, and backs.

Wow soybeans are pretty incredible! Throughout the lesson students will explore the history of Henry Ford (the man that built a car entirely out of soybeans) create soybean plastic and discover products made with soybeans!

To view the complete lesson plan visit

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