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National Agriculture in the Classroom


Summary 2023 — Utah

State Contact

Ms. Denise Stewardson
Utah Agriculture in the Classroom
2315 Old Main Hill
Logan, UT 84322
P: 435.797.1592

Innovative Programming

Following an evaluation conducted by Utah State University graduate students of Utah AITC preservice workshops, the content and offerings of these workshops were revised to a) better serve those preservice students in regards to content and the point in their education course sequence at which they participated in the workshops, and b) realize a higher return-on-investment for Utah AITC in regards to cost of resources, travel, and staff time.

Major Program Impacts or Outcomes

2023 Summer Agriculture Institute
  • 80% of participants rated their experience as at the workshop "Excellent," while 20% rated it as "Very Good."
  • Participants experienced a 100% median increase in their knowledge of the resources available from the Utah Farm-to-Fork program.
  • Participants experienced a 100% median increase in their ability to register for the Utah Farm-to-Fork program.
2023 Drones in Agriculture Workshops
  • Participants left the workshop with high and/or very high knowledge of using drones in agriculture (76%), the FAA rules for flying drones outdoors (62%), rules for flying drones in schools (59%), the terms "pitch", "yaw", and "roll" (93%), using Drone Blocks or Python to fly a drone in a square pattern (60%), the limitations of flying a drone indoors (62%), and the Utah Agricultural Literacy curriculum matrix (64%).
  • Most participants rated their ability level as "intermediate" on flying a drone autonomously to complete a mission (41%), flying a drone in a square pattern using pitch and roll controls (43%), setting up a drone field or tent with challenge elements (35%), and flying a drone to conduct an inspection using the drone internal camera (35%). Most participants rated their ability as "advanced" in supervising students who are flying drones to ensure safety procedures are followed (40%).
  • Posttest data shows that after completing the workshop, the majority of participants intended to teach their students about the importance of drones in agriculture (84%) and use drones for instructional activities (81%). In addition, most (77%) stated they intended to teach their students 21st century skills related to food, agriculture, natural resources, and human sciences. After completing the workshop, almost all teachers (98%) agreed and/or strongly agreed they had a deeper understanding of how to use drones in their classrooms to improve student learning outcomes.

Program Leader Biosketch

Denise Stewardson (B.S. in Technology Education, M.A. in Industrial Art Education) is an Extension Associate Professor and has served as Director of the Utah Agriculture in the Classroom program at Utah State University for 11 years. As a faculty member in the Applied Sciences, Technology & Education Department, she has taught a social science-based agricultural literacy course on global food production for students of all majors, and University Connections, a first-year experience course. As an agricultural literacy specialist, Denise works with teachers statewide, regionally, and nationally to help them and their students understand the importance of agriculture in our daily lives.