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Plant Science & Hydroculture

Course Standards


1) Differentiate general occupational safety prevention and control standards as related to the

plant science and hydroculture industry. Apply concepts of safety procedures to complete

safety test with 100 percent accuracy. Obtain the worker protection standards student

industry certification.

Plants, Society, and the Environment

2) Investigate the roles of cultivated plants in meeting the food, fiber, fuel, medicinal, aesthetic,

and occupational needs of society. Identify and describe, in an informative text, the different

domains of the horticulture industry, and examine current issues and trends affecting

professionals in the field. Cite specific textual evidence from government publications and

news media.

3) Summarize the impact and patterns of environmental factors on plant biodiversity by

examining research from academic journals, news articles, and government publications.

Describe important characteristics of the relationships between plants and other organisms,

including basic plant-human interactions, plant-animal interactions, and plant adaptation.

Principles of Soil Science

4) Evaluate, citing specific textual evidence, the physical and chemical properties of soils in an

informative text. Perform technical procedures to classify soils by evaluating biotic and

abiotic factors such as soil pH, texture, permeability, and water holding capacity. Interpret

test results to identity deficiencies and formulate appropriate corrective actions.

5) Describing factors that influence soil quality and erosion. Assess the extent to which

reasoning and evidence presented in news articles or case studies support the use of a

specific soil conservation practice for maintaining healthy growing media for plants.

6) Cite specific textual evidence for the analysis of land selection and conservation practices

that ensure optimal productivity and stewardship. Identify factors that affect site selection

for plant growth and draw evidence from multiple authoritative sources to appraise and

justify management practices that ensure appropriate use of land resources.

Plant Structure and Function

7) Integrate print and digital sources to create a model depicting the parts of plant cells.

Examine the structure and outline the functions of plant cell organelles.

8) Analyze plant anatomy and physiology and relate key concepts to the processes and

requirements involved in plant growth and productivity.

Plant Nutrition

9) Analyze the nutrient requirements of plants and assess the importance of essential plant

nutrients to plant growth and development. Use visual representations to illustrate the

chemical and biological processes, including photosynthesis, that make nutrients available to

plants for growth and maintenance.

10) Justify the use of fertilizers as a source of essential plant nutrients. Calculate fertilizer

formulations and perform different methods of fertilizer application.

11) Research the nutritional factors that influence plant health to identify nutritional deficiencies

and disorders. Compile observations to distinguish between the signs of nutrient deficiency

in plants and defend recommendations for appropriate treatments.

Plant Diseases and Pests

12) Research the principles of disease and pest control to plant health, growth, and

maintenance. Analyze the effects of different types of plant pests and diseases; prescribe

methods for pest and disease prevention and treatment.

13) Demonstrate understanding of common classes of chemicals used for pest management.

Gather and evaluate information regarding PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) for

chemical application and demonstrate appropriate use of PPE. Create a checklist for safe

storage and handling of pesticides.

Plant Breeding and Genetics

14) Analyze the reproductive structures in plants and describe how they function in both sexual

and asexual plant reproduction.

15) Investigate the role of DNA, heritability, and genetic applications in plant breeding and

compose an informative essay that describes how mutation, gene flow, and adaption

influence plant populations. Identify desirable traits in various plant species and predict the

probable outcome of genetic crosses based on Mendel’s laws.

Plant Biotechnology

16) Distinguish the branches of science that influence plant biotechnology and summarize

important historical achievements. Examine the role and importance of genetic principles to

improving plant characteristics and perform basic plant DNA extraction procedures.

17) Research current and emerging plant biotechnologies and construct an argumentative essay

to support a claim supporting or opposing the use of a specific biotechnology in horticulture.

Justify and debate ethical, legal, and economic issues surrounding plant biotechnology.

Fundamentals of Hydroponics and Aquaponics

18) Evaluate the significance of hydroponics and aquaponics technology as related to

sustainable practices and principles. Compare and contrast production systems and

techniques utilized in the hydroponics and aquaponics fields, including structures and

equipment, production methods, and common crops.

19) Assess the functions, attributes, and desirable properties of soilless growing media. Write an

informative essay to describe the major components of soilless media, identifying basic

physical and chemical characteristics.

20) Apply concepts learned in this course to visually identify common plant and animal species

used for hydroponic and aquaponic production, and distinguish between their structural

and physiological differences, as well as their specific production applications.

21) Examine the role that water chemistry plays in the development of water quality for plant

production. Demonstrate the ability to perform common tests to evaluate water quality

factors including pH, hardness, ammonium, nitrate, nitrite, dissolved oxygen, and ammonia


22) Analyze the effects of environmental conditions on aquatic plant and animal life. Adjust

water quality factors by using quantitative reasoning and appropriate units to calculate

proper formulations of chemicals based upon label directions.



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