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Establishing a Community of Science and Agriculture Teachers to Bridge an Instructional Gap and Recruit the Next Generation of Agricultural Professionals and Scientists 2018-2021

The connection between agriculture and natural sciences and social issues has not been emphasized by most educators. As a result, students do not always understand the career opportunities available in the food, agricultural, natural resource, and human sciences (FANH). The objective of this project is to create and evaluate a Science and Agriculture Academy, which consists of a community of high school science and agriculture teachers who will receive two years of professional development aimed toward increased awareness of the multidisciplinary nature of agriculture and the related degree and career opportunities in FANH. We intend to prepare teachers to help students make connections between natural sciences and social issues with agriculture and agriculture-related careers.

Teachers will create and implement multidisciplinary curricula materials aligned with key principles of the National Research Council’s How People Learn and Next Generation Science Standards. The professional development and instructional support provided during this project will result in the following outcomes: (a) online open access professional development modules and face-to-face workshop materials that communicate the message of How People Learn, (b) online open access high school curricula materials (e.g., Reusable Learning Objects [RLOs], learner-centered experiential activities, and formative and summative assessments), and (c) SAA participants capable of creating and implementing multidisciplinary curricula materials in their classrooms.

The development and incorporation of the curricula materials into high school classrooms will aid teachers and students in connecting the natural sciences and social issues with agriculture, thus increasing teachers’ ability to integrate FANH concepts in their courses.

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