The TExES Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources 6-12 Exam is a certification examination that is designed to determine whether or not an individual has the knowledge necessary to teach agricultural science and technology courses at the middle school or high school level within the Texas public school system. This exam specifically assesses an individual’s knowledge of topics such as economics and business management as they relate to agricultural businesses, plant and soil science, animal science, agricultural mechanics, agricultural construction, natural resource management, and environmental science. This exam is required in order for an individual to teach an agricultural science and technology course within the state of Texas. The exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions that are related to the following areas:
- Foundations of Agricultural Education (18%)
- Agribusiness and Economics (12%)
- Plant and Soil Science (14%)
- Animal Science (16%)
- Agricultural Mechanics, Engineering and Technology (16%)
- Natural Resources and Environmental Science (12%)
- Food Science and Processing (12%)
The exam-taker will have five hours to complete the exam and the exam will be scored on a scale of 100 – 300 with 240 set as the minimum score considered as passing for the exam. The Agricultural Science and Technology 6 – 12 Exam is offered in a computer-based format and the registration fee for the exam is $131. However, there are usually other exams and fees that are required in addition to this exam in order to become certified as an entry-level agricultural science and technology teacher at the middle school or high school level within the state of Texas.
Sample Study Notes
1. Define the term science.
The American Heritage College Dictionary defines science as “the observation, identification, description, experimental investigation and theoretical explanation of phenomena.” Its Latin root is scientia, which means “knowledge.”
- NATURAL SCIENCE is concerned with the natural world; SOCIAL SCIENCE studies human behavior. Both are based on empirical evidence, which is observable data that can be verified by other scientists who are working in similar situations under the same conditions.
- FORMAL SCIENCE is the systematic study of a specific area; it is essential to developing the hypotheses, theories and laws used in other scientific disciplines, i.e. describing how things work (natural science), how people think, and why they do what they do individually and as a society (social sciences). It is based on a priori evidence, which proceeds from a theory or assumption rather than from observable phenomena.
- APPLIED SCIENCE is using scientific research in any of the natural, social and formal sciences to address human needs.
2. Define agriculture science.
Webster’s New Explorer Desk Encyclopedia defines agriculture as the “science or art of cultivating the soil, growing and harvesting crops, and raising livestock. More of the world’s aggregate manpower is devoted to agriculture than to all other occupations combined. “Using this basic definition, agricultural science is the study and care of soil, plants and animals, and how their relationships produce and process food, fiber, and fuel. It is an interdisciplinary science that requires knowledge in and understanding of a wide range of fields.
- PHYSICAL SCIENCE is the study of the interaction of matter, motion, energy, space, and time.
- LIFE SCIENCE (or biology) is the study of living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, origin, evolution and distribution.
- SOCIAL SCIENCE is the study of human behavior.
- EARTH SCIENCE is the study of all things related to the earth: geology, hydrology, meteorology and oceanography.
- ENGINEERING is the application of physical, mathematical and mechanical principles to design, construct, and operate structures.
- MATHEMATICS is the study of the logic of and relationship between numbers.
- ECONOMICS is the study of the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services.
3. Describe some practical lessons learned by studying agricultural science.
Students who study agricultural science develop an understanding of the interconnectedness of all the earth’s resources: plant, animal, and human. They learn the importance of managing scarce natural resources and caring for the environment. They discover the necessity of humane treatment of all living things as scientific and technological breakthroughs change the relationships among species. Students become aware of social issues such as food security, and the causes and consequences of both subsistence and commercial farming practices.
Another result of studying agricultural science is the ability to think critically, design workable solutions to complex problems, and make thoughtful decisions. Since it is a global, interdisciplinary field, students learn to interact with a diverse cross-section of scientists, researchers and environmentalists from many nations. Each person brings a unique perspective to universal issues based on experiences and conditions in his homeland. From planning, production, processing and distribution, an individual country’s economic and fiscal policy has an impact on the global marketplace.
4. Define environmental science.
Environmental science is the interdisciplinary study of the interactions of the physical, chemical and biological parts of all living and non-living things that occur naturally on earth. Sometimes referred to as the “natural environment” (as opposed to the “man-made environment”), components include plants, animals, microorganisms, rocks, air, water, climate, energy, radiation, electric charge and magnetism; in other words, anything that is not created by human activity.
Environmental scientists study and monitor the quality of the natural environment, try to interpret and predict the impact of human activity, and develop sensible strategies to prevent and/or restore damaged ecosystems. They work with architects and engineers to plan buildings, highways and utility projects that protect water resources and do as little damage as possible to the affected land. They are concerned with climate change; conservation; biodiversity; groundwater and soil contamination; air and noise pollution; and waste management. Because they deal with man-made issues, they must also have knowledge of economics, the law and the social sciences.
5. Discuss climate change and global warming.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), climate change refers to “any significant change in measures of climate, such as temperature, precipitation or wind, lasting for an extended period (decades or longer).” It can be caused by natural factors (a shift in the sun’s intensity or the earth’s orbit), natural processes (variation in ocean circulation) and human activities (burning fossil fuels, deforestation, urbanization, etc.).
Global warming is an average increase in the temperature near the earth’s surface and the troposphere (lowest part of the atmosphere) that “contributes to changes in global climate patterns.” The climate has changed many times since the earth was formed, from ice ages to sustained periods of heat. Natural causes include volcanic eruptions, shifts in the earth’s orbit and varying energy levels released from the sun. Beginning with the Industrial Revolution in the late eighteenth century, human-induced activities have probably influenced the climate in various ways.
The terms “climate change” and “global warming” are often used interchangeably. The National Academy of Sciences prefers to use “climate change” because there are other phenomena besides rising temperatures.
6. Discuss the greenhouse effect.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines the greenhouse effect as “a natural phenomenon that helps regulate the earth’s temperature.” Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and chlorofluorocarbons. They act like an “insulating blanket” and prevent solar energy from escaping into space. Without this natural protection, the earth’s temperature would be about 60°F lower, and life as we know it would be unsustainable.
Since the late-eighteenth century, humans have significantly contributed to the greenhouse effect by burning fossil fuels (such as coal and oil) and reducing the number and density of forests. Worldwide, as rural communities have shrunk and cities and suburbs have grown, populations are more concentrated. Because of this human shift, greenhouse gas emissions are increasing. According to the EPA, “human activities have caused the atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and methane to be higher today than at any point during the last 650,000 years. Scientists agree that it is very likely that most of the global average warming since the mid-20th century is due to human-induced increases in greenhouse gases rather than to natural causes.”
7. Define wetlands, watersheds and floodplains and describe how they work together.
Wetlands link land and water resources. Programs to protect wetlands usually work with programs designed to protect and manage other surface and ground water systems. These programs include storm, flood, and pollution control; protection of fish and wildlife; and creation and maintenance of public recreation areas.
A watershed or drainage basin is the area where water, sediment and other material flows from a landmass into a body of water (e.g., river, lake, ocean, or sea). Watershed conservation programs take a systemic approach and consider the entire ecosystem, including water, air and land.
A floodplain is a low area of land next to a body of water. Floodplains and adjacent water resources form a complex, dynamic ecosystem, which provides flood and erosion control, water filtering, natural habitats for plants and animals, and areas for public recreation and scientific study.
8. Describe some water conservation activities in which the Environmental Protection Agency is involved.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issues periodic reports on the condition of the nation’s wetlands (areas that link land and water resources), watersheds (drainage basins where water, sediment and other material flows from a land mass into a body of water) and floodplains (a low area of land next to a body of water). One of the agency’s missions is to preserve, protect and maintain the quality of our water resources. They are accountable to the American people for the success or failure of their efforts. The EPA is involved with various activities and works with other federal and state agencies, private industry and environmental organizations to develop plans to protect the environment and manage water resources and the surrounding land using a watershed protection approach. The EPA encourages integrated activities by:
- Developing guidelines to link wetlands protection with watershed planning
- Providing funding to the states for watershed projects
- Integrating watershed projects into the federal floodplain plans
- Supporting national and regional meetings to discuss wetlands and watershed planning programs
9. Define contract, bill-of-sale and sales report.
- A CONTRACT is a legally binding promise that explains what each person agrees to do, provide or act on in exchange for adequate consideration (expected benefits). A contract may be a written document or a verbal agreement and a handshake. Both versions are recognized and enforced by state and federal courts. In order for a contract to be legally binding, all signers must be of legal age (in most states eighteen) and of sound mind (able to understand the terms of the agreement).
- A BILL-OF-SALE is a legal document certifying the transfer of ownership from one person, company or entity to another person, company or entity. The new owner needs it to prove ownership in order to transfer titles and deeds into his name or his company’s name.
- A SALES REPORT is a summary of sales transactions made monthly, quarterly and/or annually. If computerized, it can provide an easy way to review sales activity and determine how the business is performing. The report can show the number of sales completed, total dollars collected, and split out sales tax data.
10. Discuss the Uniform Commercial Code.
The Uniform Commercial Code is a set of rules and provisions enacted to simplify and clarify commercial transactions, with uniform laws that govern all jurisdictions. If a transaction involves two or more states or another nation, the provisions of either may be applied as long as all the parties involved agree which code is to be used. Both buyer and seller have certain rights.
When a buyer purchases an item, he receives clear title. He accepts in good faith that the seller legally owned the item and had authorization to sell it and transfer ownership. The buyer has the right to take possession according to the terms of the sale.
If the buyer refuses to take delivery, fails to make the agreed- upon payment as specified in the terms of the sale, or payment is rejected (insufficient funds, buyer insolvency, etc.), the seller may: cancel the sale; stop delivery; resell the item to recover any monetary loss incurred; demand return of the title and other paperwork provided at the time of the sale.