Twenty-nine Local Educators Participated in the 2022 Region 8 Ag in the Classroom Professional Works

June 20-21, 2022, twenty-nine local educators attended “Ag Careers Connect to STEM,” a teacher professional development workshop in partnership with Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation (IALF), Linn County Farm Bureau, Buchanan County Farm Bureau, and Delaware County Farm Bureau.

Ag Careers Connect to STEM, was a two-day workshop hosted at the Linn County Farm Bureau Office in Hiawatha, Iowa. Teachers had the opportunity to receive teacher recertification credit and graduate level credit.

This fast-paced professional development gave teachers, extension personnel, and others who educate youth, the skills they need to implement many of the Iowa Core social studies and science standards. Participants went home with activities and lesson ideas that can be immediately implemented into their classroom. We had a wide variety of both primary and secondary teachers, as well as a few subject specific teachers and other school staff.

During the first day of the onsite workshop, participants ventured out of the classroom to learn about the agriculture industry first-hand. We toured Blue Grass Sod Enterprises, Inc. in Alburnett, Cara Dix’s family sheep farm in Mount Vernon, and Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids. Teachers enjoyed learning about the technology used on farms, how ag connects to STEM careers and ways to incorporate Iowa agriculture into their current curriculum. Josh and James, two instructors at Kirkwood, gave us a tour of the ag classrooms, student shop, beef farm, greenhouses, and test plot. Teachers also had the opportunity to drive a combine and/or sprayer simulator.

The second day of the course focused on implementing lessons learned, connecting learning to science and social studies, and making it relevant to student learners. Participants explored how ethanol is made, the many careers in ag, ways precision technology plays a role, and much more! We had the opportunity to check out the Iowa Corn Educational Trailer and hear from Tom Murray and North Linn FFA students! It was neat to hear about all the ways North Linn is incorporating raising livestock into their curriculum, right on school grounds.

Learn more by visiting Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation (iowaagliteracy.org)

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