A wrap-up of my 2023 AITC Internship!
Josie wraps up her spring internship with us. It was so much fun getting to know Josie and we thank her for all of the hard work she put in! Read about her experience below!
As I’m finishing the last days of my internship, I’m reflecting on everything that I have learned, completed, and improved on in the last 10 weeks. I came into this internship hoping to gain new experiences inside and outside of the classroom. I learned a variety of different things throughout the 10 weeks. Through the internship, I completed a Flat Aggie series about the beef industry, Summer STEM kits, and a variety of articles and lesson activities.
My first main project was the Flat Aggie Adventures Series. The theme for 2023 focused on the beef industry and included the following topics: cow/calf, feed yard, breeds, processing, handling, careers, and nutrition. I researched the overall topic, found fun facts, and incorporated photos. I also made sure to add a joke of the day for each edition.
Once I finished each edition, I sent them to Morgan for corrections and edits on the topics I had chosen. Once the final changes were made I continued to the next topic. It was no surprise that I enjoyed writing and designing graphics relating to the beef industry since I grew up on a beef farm. Growing up on a beef farm I had a good base of knowledge, but I still did a lot of research to ensure I was putting the most accurate information in the Flat Aggie Newsletter Series.
My second project was the summer STEM kits. I worked with the Delaware and Buchanan County intern to complete this project. To start the kits we picked a theme and then we met over Zoom to continue discussing the outline of the kits. We split each month in half between the two of us to ensure that we took an equal part in the STEM kits. The theme, Minute to Win It, focuses on engaging students with agriculture by connecting a fun Minute to Win it challenges with where the supplies come from.
Each month had four Minute to Win It activities, complimentary worksheets, and an ag mag. June focuses on Iowa commodities. A few activities include an ag bracelet and the bean bounce. Along with those I made two worksheets, this was my favorite part because it gave me a chance to be more creative and make different worksheets that we haven’t used before.
For July, students will explore livestock in Iowa. A few activities include an egg race and a wordsmith. For the last month, students will dig into, soil, flowers, and water. A couple of the activities in this particular kit include a whipped cream worm search and an ag word battle. The whipped cream worm search was my personal favorite because it was different from all the other activities that we did and was the most fun for the students!
This experience made me step out of my comfort zone, helped me to learn many new things, and gave me in-person experiences at different schools in Linn and Benton County. I loved to see the students learn about different kinds of agriculture through fun activities and helping teach the lessons. This helped me with my public speaking by making me step out of my comfort zone to present in front of groups of all different ages and sizes.
I think my biggest takeaway is realizing just how important it is to inform students about agriculture because while it may be common knowledge to people who grow up around it, many people are generations removed from agriculture. This was also the reason why I loved this job. Since the kids tend not to know much about agriculture, it is amazing to watch them be so fascinated by the things we just know off the top of our heads.
Lastly, I would like to give a huge thank you to the Board of Directors and Rob, Morgan, Paige, and Alaina for including me in the Ag in the Classroom Program this year. I enjoyed every experience they gave me, and I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity. This opportunity helped me learn and grow so much in 10 weeks. I will take everything I learned to help me continue to grow throughout college and my future job.