National Corn Growers Association is working to recognize the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in schools and to the future of agriculture.
NCGA believes agriculture is a vital partner in engaging students in STEM concepts in ways that directly and indirectly impact their lives and the lives of farmers. Not only does teaching an ag-based curriculum in the science classroom inspire students to solve real-world science issues, reaching students is critical to address the job gap in agriculture-related careers, many of which go unfilled.
NCGA and its state corn checkoff programs began investing in making the latest teaching materials and teacher training available nationwide before COVID but quickly shifted gears to more virtual tools with the emergence of the pandemic. If you want to see how checkoff support is helping teachers go to www.nourishthefuture.org.
NCGA is in the second year of investing state corn checkoff dollars in the STEM-oriented initiative called Nourish the Future and is recruiting teachers to participate in the 2021 program. If you are interested, you can apply now at www.nourishthefuture.org/tlc-2021.
The Nourish the Future national leadership experience is a year-long cohort program designed for middle and high school science teachers who want to:
- Enhance professional development capacities to fit diverse audiences and venues.
- Become skilled in inquiry-based lesson design.
- Become a leader in exploring solutions with your students on issues affecting sustainability, climate, environment, food production.
- Become a career coach for students.
- Expand your professional network to include teachers and industry experts from different states.
Providing high-quality STEM-based teaching resources is another key part of Nourish the Future. Teachers and parents can find a trove of traditional and virtual teaching resources and activities as well that can be useful during COVID-19.
The Nourish the Future team has designed virtual resources that can be found at nourishthefuture.org/virtual.