Dr Calum Watt takes CRISPR technology and wheat breeding on the road

Young Farming Champion Dr Calum Watt found himself in his happy place when he was recently asked to run a train the trainer workshop on CRISPR technology and wheat breeding at the recent WA PRIMED teacher workshop. Calum’s tutorial will support secondary school science teachers to bring agriculturally focused action learning into their classrooms.

Calum is our only Western Australia based Young Farming Champion and hasn’t had the opportunity to participate in our schools-based programs The Archibull Prize and Kreative Koalas and he found this opportunity an exciting milestone in his personal and professional development journey.

“I found the skills I learnt in my Young Farming Champions’ workshops gave me the confidence to say yes when I was invited.  Having access to all the data collected from 10 years of Archibull Prize entry and exit surveys asking young people what they care about and want to learn about allowed me to tailor my tutorial to support teachers to teach agricultural themes in a way that I was confident will resonate with young people not much younger than me.

After the tutorial I received great feedback and I knew that it was a success when every teacher asked me where they could get wheat!”

Calum joined the Young Farming Champions program in 2015 as an undergraduate at Murdoch University and has been listening to the Young Farming Champions tell him for five years how much satisfaction they get from going into a classroom, sharing their passion and having students and teachers engage with you. He is thrilled to join the club.

“The flow on effect has led to one of the attending metropolitan-based teachers lining up a series of secondary school presentations for me .

I will say this though, first time in an educational setting had the nerves firing. It was a very different kettle of fish from my scientific seminars I have done before.”

Our Young Farming Champions are all cheering Calum on from their workplaces across the country

We thank our supporting partners for investing in young agriculturalists like Calum

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