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National Agriculture in the Classroom

teacher center

Educator Professional Development

Fields of the Future: The Science of Drones in Agriculture

April 9-10, 2022
USDA/Agricultural Research Service/Southern Plains Agricultural Research Center (USDA/ARS/SPARC)
College Station, Texas

This hands-on, experiential learning opportunity will give high school science educators the opportunity to engage with science-based agricultural research regarding plant pests and the emerging use of drones. Participants will gain an increased understanding of how modern agricultural practices utilize enhanced technology and research to further the production of a safe and bountiful food supply. Additionally, participants will walk away with knowledge of how to incorporate the information learned into the classroom, relevant and useful instructional methods, lesson suggestions, activities, AND a MAVIC-MINI II drone of their own to fly and conduct research with their students. (Note: Participants must be able to connect their drone to a smart phone or mini-iPad during the workshop. For Apple, the DJI fly app is on the Apple App Store. For Android phones, the app is on the DJI website).

Continuing Education Units/Professional Development Hours will also be available.

Participants will be eligible to receive an $800 stipend that can supplement travel costs including mileage, hotel, and meals as well as registration and credit fees.

Applications will be reviewed and granted admission on a rolling basis until all seats are filled. We will maintain a waiting list and contact those applicants if/when seats become available.

This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, AFRI Professional Development for Agricultural Literacy Priority Area, award #2021-67037-34161/project accession no. 1025595.

Registration will open early February 2022


Step Up the Science

July 11-14, 2022 (virtual and in-person hybrid experience)
The University of Maryland and USDA/Agricultural Research Service/ Beltsville Agricultural Research Center
College Park and Beltsville, Maryland

More details to come.


From Lab to Classroom: The Science of Crop Improvement

August 3-5, 2021
Kansas Wheat Innovation Center, Kansas State University
Manhattan, Kansas

This experiential-based professional development will give educators knowledge and tools they will need to implement science research and practices regarding crop improvement and biotechnology into their classrooms. Participants will leave the workshop with reinforced knowledge of research methods, instructional strategies, lessons, and activities that can be immediately implemented into their classrooms with little or no additional effort. During one day of the workshop, participants will discuss basic methods of crop improvement including breeding, doubled haploid production, and DNA extraction at the Kansas Wheat Innovation Center with dedicated time in the research laboratory. On another day, participants will learn about GMOs and gene-editing in a Kansas State University research laboratory with time to explore societal viewpoints and the challenge they present to the agriculture industry. Day three will allow participants to discuss how this research can be used in the classroom for deeper learning on the covered topics.

Participants will be eligible to receive an $800 stipend that can supplement travel costs including mileage, hotel, and meals as well as registration.

Graduate credit is being offered by Kansas State University. Continuing Education Units/Professional Development Hours will also be available.

This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, AFRI Professional Development for Agricultural Literacy Priority Area, award 2021-67037-34161/project accession no. 1025595.

Step Up the Science of Water Quality

August 2-3, 2021
Iowa State University
Ames, Iowa

This fast-paced professional development will give educators tools and experience they will need to implement science research and practices regarding water quality into their classroom. Participants will leave the workshop with instructional strategies, lessons, and activities that can be immediately implemented into their classroom with little or no additional effort. During one day of the workshop participants will discuss water quality and water quality issues while learning about research and variable testing that occurs in a laboratory environment. During a second day participants will tour farms and research sites to learn about field drainage, oxbows, bioreactors, saturated buffers, wetlands, and water recycling efforts and research.

Each participant will be eligible for a $800 stipend to help cover the cost of their travel and registration fees. Applications and admission will be reviewed on a rolling basis and selected participants will be directed to sign up for their preferred credit option. Graduate credit is available through Iowa State University for $790. Licensure renewal credit is available from AEA for $35. Apply to attend via this form.

This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, AFRI Professional Development for Agricultural Literacy Priority Area, award 2021-67037-34161/project accession no. 1025595.