Promoting Extension, FCS and Family Science

Thank you Dr. Rachel Arocho for the invitation to speak with Utah Valley University Students. If you have any questions, please email Patrice Powers-Barker

Today’s session was an example of County Extension Educator with Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS). I hope you will continue to consider:

  • ways to utilize Extension as a community partner, possible employer, and/or personal resource
  • the role of Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) within Extension and our local communities
  • how to best use your professional organizations and resources

Cooperative Extension Services (National Institute of Food and Agriculture)

A few links and resources we talked about:

Q&A and links:

Question: Some of the work and topics of Family Life Education sound similar to Social work but there’s definitely an emphasis on education, how do they work together?

Answer: One of my favorite articles to help understand the value and role of different fields of family study and different careers is Reconceptualizing the Domain and Boundaries of Family Life Education. They do not specifically list Social Work, but they compare and contrast FLE (Family Life Education), FT (Family Therapy), and FCM (Family Case Management). Depending on your line of work and your local partners, this article and their concepts could be used to help discuss roles that different organizations and professionals can provide in the community.

It is not unusual for Extension to partner with community sites that are offering additional services and resources to participants. While we focus on education, some families have immediate needs  (like food or transportation, etc.). It makes sense to partner with organizations that can also help with those immediate needs and those sites might have Social Works on staff.

Even for partners who do not have emergency needs, partners are often offering something different than Extension Education. Some typical community partners might include parks, libraries, places of worship, schools, community centers, senior centers, etc. These sites have additional resources and programs for participants that are complemented by Extension Education.

Question: Does Extension do it’s own research, use established research by others, or both?

Answer: Yes, both. There are many opportunities for Extension professionals to do research. This will look different in different program areas and for different job roles. The example I gave in class was about Agriculture and Natural Resources where county Educators are working with local farmers who are all part of a larger research project in partnership with state specialists. In Family and Consumer Sciences I might be working with state and/or field specialists and the research is based on behavior changes. This most often is self-reported by class participants. I might also be evaluating the educational methods. Those are some examples for County Educators. At the regional or state level, especially for roles like field specialist or state specialist, there are often more examples and opportunities for research.

There are often opportunities to partner with others. This might be other state Extension programs, or multi-state teams. Some of my colleagues are part of Dining with Diabetes.  Other times, when educational programming is needed in the community and we don’t have a specific program or curriculum in Ohio Extension, we will look at what other state Extension’s use and other educational resources that are available. The example I shared in class was PAX Tools. They have done the research and offer training to professionals in different fields of work. It is not our Extension research but it is a recognized and valued program.

It was great to hear examples of relatives who currently work with Extension or had in the past!

The emphasis of our education is preventative and therefore future facing, but the history of Family and Consumer Sciences (previously Home Economics) is intriguing. Although sewing and cooking are important skills to have, that isn’t necessarily the entire history or goal of Home Economics. Here’s a short highlight about the science contributions from one of the founders of the field, Ellen Swallow Richards.

This 2021 book is very detailed but has given me a much better understanding and appreciation for the dedication and work of the women who came before me in this field, The Secret History of Home Economics: How Trailblazing Women Harnessed the Power of Home and Changed the Way We Live, by Danielle Dreilinger and lists examples of great work by many, many individuals over many decades in the US.





OSU Extension partnering with FCS teachers in Lucas County

In Lucas County we are fortunate to have school districts that offer Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) classes to high school students and some offer it in middle school and/or junior high school. When students are choosing their classes for the next year, it may or may not say “Family and Consumer Sciences” but some of the specific classes that fall under this field might have course titles like: Principles of Food, Nutrition and Wellness, Transitions and Careers, Personal Finance Management, Textiles and Interior Design, Personal Wellness, Human Growth and Development or Child Development. Please encourage students to consider taking these classes!

The following document has a list of classes that Patrice Powers-Baker, OSU Extension, Lucas County, FCS Educator offers to present to middle school/junior high and high school students (in Lucas County Ohio). Her email is and the document describes the following classes:

  • Feeding a Family
  • Introduction to Local Foods
  • “Outlaw” Veggies – what to do with all these vegetables?
  • Plan a Menu Garden for Health and Wellness
  • PAX Tools for Families and Caregivers
  • The Spending Game (aka Count Your Beans)
  • Food Choice and Food Insecurity
  • Mindfulness
  • Food For Young Children
  • Universal Design
  • Plastics in the Home
  • Real Money Real World

Document for Lucas County FCS teachers, Extension lessons for High School and Middle School FCS classes

In addition to classes that are specifically offered by the FCS Educator, there might be additional options for teachers like partnering with 4H Youth Development or Community Nutrition Education.

Northwest Ohio FCS Teacher In-Service Day

Thursday, April 20th, 2022

2023 FCS Teacher In-service AGENDA

Resources: (listed in order of the day’s presentations)

Moderated Discussion on Financial Literacy – COMING SOON – list of “answers”

FCS Teacher Sharing Time – What’s working in your classroom?

Creative Ways to Teach Topics

  • Find your match game – description on one card. The other had the “hello” my name is nametags with the term. The kids without a description or name card are the “matchmakers” as a way to keep all of the students involved.
  • Ugly sweater party – create a sweater for each element and add to their sketchbooks.
  • Paint Days – paper out a section of one kitchen. Use tempera paints – work on shades, tones, hues. Instead of the whole class, call up about 4-6 at a time while they’re working on other projects.
  • Boxed Game = Fun Empolyed: The Interview Game of Actual Jobs and Absurd Qualifications. Cards with unusual “skills”  There’s a job card and then you draw skills cards (they are quirky descriptions).  For school make sure you edit out any cards that won’t work in the classroom.
  • Simple example of matching cards with financial terms















Principles and elements of design – students find a room design (magazine page) they add the terms and definition to the page











Hanging Towels – Practice straight stitch and sew on button. Note: it works better with thin towels (the thicker fabric hand towels have been hard on the needles).

Pillowcases  – pillow cases, make two = one to donate, one to keep. Let them bring in their own fabric or buy out of funds. One yard of fabric – because they’re doing two, they buy one solid color and one complimentary fabric.

If you follow their links to Ohio and Toledo area, there is a contact name and email. It also gives three drop of sites, two east of us in Milan and Sandusky and the third site in Northwest Ohio is Way Public Library in Perrysburg Ohio.

If they have extra time (or asked to come in afterschool to make holiday gifts) make a wristlet (10×3”) – or a lanyard (longer). The hardware isn’t that expensive.

Professional Skills

Ohio Means Jobs Readiness Seal this ODE page lists the requirements, links to pds, and frequently asked questions. A few tips from FCS teachers (today’s example was from Transition and Careers class)

  • FCS teacher has it available for students a plastic three ring file sleeve with paper copies of instructions and sample and planning copy. Also makes color cardstock copies of the validation form (verses a black and white copy on paper). Any copy is acceptable for their validation and mentor signatures but we want to highlight the value of this opportunity.
  • For class activity, have students rank themselves at where they are at right now. Reassure them that it’s fine if they rank themselves low – these are  areas they will want to work on through high school.
  • Watch the movie The Intern and have students identify the professional skills
  • Students might say they don’t know who to ask as mentors for signatures – remind them of who they already see and work with. What groups and organizations are they part of? Do they attend a place of worship? Suggest they meet with their Dean – many have only had to meet with their Dean for examples like tardiness. If they’ve improved their attendance, meet with the Dean for a good reason.
  • Discussion question for students – even if you aren’t required to have this seal for graduation, why wouldn’t you do this? If you are applying for a job, how can you use this for your advantage?
  • Add it to their portfolio

Connecting With Students 

  • Celebrate students’ birthdays – if it’s not during the school year, celebrate half birthday. Sing happy birthday as a class (if they’re comfortable with it), give them a chocolate candy bar with printed birthday label and birthday certificate.   
  • MRT (Mrs R. Trivia) at the beginning of class (gets them moving and engaged for topics that might not seem as interesting to them). At the beginning of finance class I give them a multiple choice question about myself (for example, “what’s my favorite cereal?”). The four multiple choice answers are in the four kitchens so they stand by their answer. The winners get stickers.
  • March themes – we’re a big basketball school so I use March Madness as a theme for any of our topics. Whoever ends up with the winning “teams” (options) gets a prize like: winners get to pick the next two recipes for cooking.
  • Show off their work! I use the student fridge to post their good work. I had some fun magnets on that fridge but they’ve chosen to add to it – they’ve asked if it’s ok to bring in magnets from their vacation.
  • Resource person for your classroom – April Holbrook of Ohio Pork Council

Thank you FCS Teachers! #FCSsuccess




Thursday, April, 7th 2022: Welcome Back!

2022 FCS Teacher In-service agenda

Resources: (listed in order of agenda) – More to be added throughout the day

Secret History for FCS Teachers Powerpoint – Patrice Powers-Barker, OSU Extension, Lucas County and Melissa J. Rupp, OSU Extension, Fulton County

Digital Detox slides notes and references from Digital Detoxing in a Social World – Susan Zies, OSU Extension, Wood County:

Nature and Wellness slides notes – Laura Stanton, OSU Extension, Warren County

What’s new in the Kitchen? Air Fryers – Katie Schlagheck, OSU Extension, Ottawa and Sandusky Counties

Careers in Food and Nutrition slides notes – Jennifer Little, OSU Extension, Hancock County

Personal Finance Programs and Resources – check out Melissa’s Picks Financial Education

FCS Teacher Sharing Time – What’s working in your classroom?

Our FCS teachers share the best practices, tips, questions, and stories!

Love it when students allow FCS teachers to bring items for “show and tell”. Example of plarn (plastic yarn created from plastic grocery store bags) and crochet bag.

crochet bag made from plarn


Textile class is over lunch (the long period) – the students prepped plyarn (yarn made out of plastic grocery bags). Some students already have experience with crochet. This is a good topic as an introduction to the FCCLA repurpose and design.



Take Charge Today, Financial Education for a Better Future, The University of Arizona

Created a substitute teacher grid with eight writing prompts for Human Growth and Development. The students can work on the assignments in class. They can receive the 25 points by writing their answer to the question, one page in length.

As one way to do an assessment for Principles of Foods, using these worksheets to introduce labels – the nutrition label as well as the ingredient list. This is a good activity to let them do a taste test (a small sample) and learn the lessons before they move into projects in the lab.








A Year in Real Life – an online lesson with a packet that corresponds with a year’s worth of income and expenses. The students have a hard copy of a calendar to track where bills land in the month. The online lesson uses spin wheels to help determine different statuses for different life situations (savings, credit, apr for credit card, credit card, number of children, how the baby is born and hospital costs, different types of vacation, etc). For more information on the program, email

What can we do with our FCS students to benefit families in Ukraine? We had a short discussion with some possible ideas. Although there is no single answer, we have some ideas:

  • Make cookies for a bake sale.
  • Donate proceeds to the World Central Kitchen
  • Investigate charity organizations, compare the percentage of donations that go directly to people in need
  • Use the FCCLA Planning Process with students
  • May 2022: short promotion of the AWJH brownie bake sale


Other FCS Educators in Northwest Ohio:

Casey Bishop, OSU Extension, Paulding County

Central State University is an 1890 Land-Grant Institution. One difference is the location(s) that are served. For example, Jewel Rollins, works in the Northwest Region of Ohio, not just one county. Follow their Facebook page or use the direct contact information below.

  • Jewel Rollins,  Northwest Region Family & Consumer Science Educator, Central State University Extension, Email:  Phone: 419-913-7111
  • Hannah Albers,  Northwest Region 4-H Educator, Central State University Extension Email:  Phone: 937-710-5381

2020 and 2021: We missed seeing Northwest Ohio FCS teachers these springtimes due to COVID-19. We celebrate the work they offer all school year and we want to send an extra “thank you” during National Teacher Appreciation Week.

FCS teacher with heart

Thursday April 4th, 2019 – the following resources are added in order of the day’s agenda:

Keynote: The Ice Cream Sundae – A Perfect Model for Food Science in the FCS Classroom, presented by Pam Snyder

CIFT Food Industry Credentials, presented by Rebecca Singer, President and CEO, Center for Innovative Food Technology (CIFT)

Tour of the NOCK Facility and its mission, Paula Ray, Site Manager

Thank you Danielle Arbinger for sharing about your business, Guac Shop, website (and find them on facebook and instagram guacshop419)






Success Story: Thank you Chris and Lin Lane for sharing about your business, Country Lane BBQ, LLC, facebook

Lunchtime Information: David Little, CVE Curriculum Consultant

Mindful Moments (resource from Yoga 4 Classrooms – you can purchase their deck of cards and request a free download of six cards)

Lightening Round of Resources from OSU Extension, FCS Educators


FCS Teacher Share Time

(sorry, not all linked but here are some of the resources shared by teachers)

Book on Truck Food Cookbook, make foam food trucks to decorate the room. Ties in with lessons on recipes, cost of business, etc.

NGPF next generation personal finance (podcasts for your own professional development)  (FinLit fanatics FB page for teachers using this curriculum)


Copy of weekly calendar, standard – kids can view it, it helps with subs and helps stay organized and “magic binder” with all information in one binder

Use Google – students use resources including running their own webpage for Childhood Development

Question of the day on whiteboard, up all day to see what other students wrote, 2-3 days a week, sometimes review questions, sometimes questions for fun

Lambsville, financial management class activity, Ms. Lamb is the mayor. Put it all into the packet this year.

Interior Design – made an edible color wheel – vanilla wafers, can work as team to use food colors

Documentary – The True Cost, on Netflicks, one hour 32 min, prepare students to see graphic things (how our clothes are made in third world countries). Message for our youth: you cannot disregard the clothes in your closet. If you don’t wear it, please share/donate with others who can use it.

Fill Your Bucket by Carol McCloud (books for babies, toddlers and youth). In class they decorate small buckets for this “children”

Compost Stew, (HS students like the kids’ book) for food supply unit, movie Ingredients, movie

Fetal Development, focus on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome since it’s preventable.

January is Board Appreciation Month, FCS class made the meal of 2 soups and then served to the board (including the superintendent and other administrators). They loved the meal and all of them stayed to clean up. Have made connections with them throughout the year (sometimes food, sometimes other information for them)

3 out of 5 Board Members following on FB

University of Findlay –  Adulting 101

2023 draft Clutter free living lesson:

Additional PowerPoint presentations (no handouts included here)

DOVIA of Northwest Ohio Partnership

DOVIA (Directors of Volunteers In Agencies) of Northwest Ohio 2019

Respecting the Tough Work, Patrice Powers-Barker

February  28, 2019, 12-1:30 pm 
Metroparks, Toledo Botanical Gardens Conference Room



Previous Presentation

Friday November 2, 2018

DOVIA of Northwest Ohio 2018 Conference

Breakout Session #3: Respecting the Tough Work, Patrice Powers-Barker

Resources & Links discussed in the presentation:

Tough Work: Understanding and Serving People in Poverty While Caring for Yourself is a volunteer training written by Kathy Michelich, Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Warren County, Lebanon, OH. 2013

  • total 4 hours of training for volunteers
  • Early Spring 2019, OSU Extension, Lucas County will be looking for host sites to promote and offer to volunteers
  • Contacts: Holly Ball at   or Patrice Powers-Barker at

How to find your local county Extension office?

Live Smart Ohio, OSU Extension’s Family and Consumer Sciences Blog

Count CALM Down for the Holidays 2018, 6-week email wellness challenge

Mindful Wellness

Dine-In Day 2018

OSU Extension, Lucas County


Ohio Local Foods and “Dining In” on FCS Day, 2018

Welcome supporters of Ohio local foods and families eating together.

This page is designed as a starting point for information for OSU Extension to promote both Dining In Day on December 3rd and Ohio Local Foods. A few of these resources are dated from previous years but the content that is useful for 2018 is noted on this page.

OSU Extension Local Foods Signature Program (retired)

Because the program is retired, there is some dated information on the website but it also has lots of great resources for current projects. The following links are all part of the Local Foods website but this will highlight how they might be useful in 2018.

Adding A Youth Flavor to Extension’s Signature Programs

The 4 lessons on local foods were designed by 4-H youth as a resource for other older 4-H members to facilitate learning activities with their clubs and communities. This is also helpful for OSU Extension staff as an introduction to the topic of local foods. The introduction to this set of 4 lessons includes a few Frequently Asked Questions about Local Foods.

Description of Local Foods Week (note, this is from August 2017)  “Even during wintertime, Ohio local food is available, whether it is fresh produce grown with season extenders or crops that can be held for long periods of time in cold/cool storage as well as baked, canned, frozen and dried foods”.

How do you identify and find local foods? Ohio Local Food Directories  

Please note that all the links might not be up to date but there should be some good leads. “Just like there is no one definition for “local,” there is no one best way to search out local foods. Local foods are available for purchase at businesses like grocery stores and restaurants or purchased directly from growers at farmers’ markets, auctions, farm stands or CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture). This summary of online local food directories is not an exhaustive list but it is a starting point for Ohio consumers to locate favorite local foods. No endorsement is intended for products listed, nor is criticism meant for products not listed.  This summary lists the titles of the online directories in alphabetical order.”

Farm to Health Resources

Includes Farm to Health Series Cards with a focus on different Ohio produce with information and a recipe (note: carrots includes Carrots, Winter Squash and Sweet Potatoes, all crops that could be sourced locally during the wintertime). In addition, check out the Placemats on local foods that can be printed for the family table. All of the placemats focus on local foods but the one titled “Seasonality” shows a calendar of all 12 months and some foods that are local and available during that time of year. This might be useful for a December event like Dine In Day.

2015 Dine In Blog Post on Live Smart Ohio (and short background on Ellen Swallow Richards)

“Thank you Ellen Swallow Richards: You have reminded our modern families that science is valuable, history is fascinating and family wellness is meaningful.”

 2018 Dine In and Local Foods Questions

  • What foods are local to your area? Remember, there is no one definition for “local” in regards to food. What food connections are in your community, whether it’s directly in your county or state or region?
  • Who are potential community partners in relation to local foods and “Dining In” on Family and Consumer Sciences Day? Local farmers market? Stores that sell local foods? Emergency food pantries that are helping families put meals on the tables?
  • Who are community and individual leaders who grows and raises local foods?  Who grows a vegetable garden or farm? Who does home food preservation? Who raises livestock to freeze, dry or can? Can they help spread the word about Dine In Day?
  • Who are your colleagues who can help promote Ohio Local Foods and Dining In? ANR, 4-H, CD colleagues. Community partners like Farmers Bureau, schools, FFA, 4-H clubs, FCS teachers and FCCLA
  • What local foods do you dine on?