Carson High School Career and Technical Education agriculture program lead teacher, Charlie Mann, donned his dress, braided his beard and welcomed his Agriculture 1 students to the “Hunger Games.”
The students have been studying world hunger, commodities, production and trade throughout the semester, and the Hunger Games simulation gave them an opportunity to examine trade and barter with their peers while relating to popular culture.
“The class has learned about where commodities are produced, how population and economy impact distribution and what fair trade means to both parties in the deal,” Mann said. “We’ve looked at it from a global, national and local standpoint.”
Students were divided into 12 districts and asked to research the types of products that are developed in each district, similar to the 12 districts in the “Hunger Games” stories. Products included technology, meat, dairy and livestock, luxury items, electricity and mining.
As in the movies, tributes were selected for each district. The day’s event began with a parade of tributes, who then bartered and traded the goods they brought in to represent their districts. Technology was represented by ear buds, mining by Oreo cookies and Ring Pop candy stood in for luxury items.
When the trading was complete, students watched the movie, “Hunger Games – Mocking Jay, Part 1” and wrote short essay answers to questions relating to how the movie portrayed trade in the black market.
Carson High School’s CTE agriculture and natural resource management career cluster includes classes in floriculture design and management, ornamental horticulture and greenhouse management, natural resources and wildlife management, veterinary science and leadership and communication. Students must complete Ag 1 and Ag 2 prerequisite classes before choosing a career path after which they receive a science credit.
Earlier in the week, Mann invited Jennifer Kluever, a former student and floral designer at Michaels Craft Store, to address CTE floriculture students on product display and career opportunities.
Kluever, a full-time student at Western Nevada College, graduated from Carson High School in 2014 and manages the floral department at Michaels.
“I sat in these desks and learned the same things you are learning from Mr. Mann,” Kluever said. “I got my job at Michaels right out of high school because I presented a portfolio of the work I did in class.”
Mann said students learn well from industry experts like Kluever, especially as they prepare for the Future Farmers of America state competition in March.
“Jennifer was in the first agriculture class I taught here at Carson High School and competed in the FFA state competition that year,” Mann said. “It’s so rewarding to see my students get good paying jobs in the fields they studied here right out of high school, and to see how well prepared they are to grow in their careers even as they pursue higher education.”
Kluever graduates from WNC this semester with an associate of arts degree in archeology. She plans to attend the University of Nevada, Reno in the fall. She said she will continue to work in floriculture while studying archeology in college.